Do you brush your tongue? This isn’t as silly a question as it sounds. Brushing your tongue is an important part of how you brush your teeth.
Have you ever looked at a tongue under a magnifying glass? It’s not as smooth as it looks to the naked eye. Bumps, ridges and valleys cover your tongue, giving it the grip it needs to manipulate food in your mouth and lick up ice cream.
Those bumps and ridges are also perfect places for bacteria to hide. Tiny bits of food can get caught in them. Brushing your tongue knocks them loose so they can be swallowed or spit out when you rinse after brushing.
After you’ve finished brushing your teeth, give the top of your tongue a gentle brushing with you toothbrush. Your pediatric dentist can show you how best to do it.
Knocking the bacteria off your tongue can keep them from getting on your teeth. Knocking the food off your tongue can prevent bad breath. Bits of food trapped in your tongue can make your breath smell funny for days after you’ve eaten something really smelly, like garlic. Brushing knocks it loose so it can be washed away.
Food can also become trapped between your teeth, something you probably know all about if you like eating corn on the cob. If you really want your breath to smell fresh and pleasant, be sure to floss between your teeth to scrape that food loose as well.