When’s the last time you cleaned your tongue?
If you’ve ever worried about having bad breath, you might be surprised to hear that as much as 90% of odor-causing bacteria inside of your mouth are right on top of your tongue. Between the small, bumpy papilla hide thousands of microbes. Many of them cause bad breath from not being cleaned off or from accumulating food particles.
The Tongue Scraper
To clean your tongue and freshen your breath, you should use a tongue scraper. These scrapers are made of soft plastic and are available at most retailers in the oral care isle. Drag the scraper from the back of your tongue, forward. You will be amazed at what you find!
Other Sources of Odors
Of course, not all bad breath bacteria are on your tongue. Some of it is also inside of your cheeks, along gumlines, between the teeth and under the gums. Proper brushing and flossing will remove most of it, but professional cleanings will remove harder-to-reach areas of tartar deposits that can create a very foul odor.
Don’t Cover Up Bad Breath
Using mints or mouth-rinses to cover up odors can actually make them worse. Many rinses contain alcohol, which dry out the mouth or alter natural flora, allowing odorous bacteria to become more prominent. Mints and gums that contain sugar will feed these bacteria, allowing them to multiply. Instead, stick to preventive care, good oral hygiene, and essential-oil rinses that naturally freshen breath.
If you notice your tongue looking stained, discolored, or are having a hard time managing your breath, just tell your dentist. There’s nothing embarrassing about odors when it comes to your oral health care, especially if you’re the one bringing it up.