How to clean your tongue without gagging

How to clean your tongue without gagging

Have you ever had any of these happen to you?

  • your friends turn away when you talk to them
  • your significant other doesn’t want that goodnight kiss, and
  • your dog runs away from you

Did you ever think it may be your breath?

Did you know that no matter what you do — cup your hands, cross your eyes or blow — you can’t smell your own breath?!

Research is clear – 90% of bad breath is caused by bacteria growing on your tongue. That means brushing your teeth and flossing alone won’t cure bad breath.

So, if you really don’t want to suck on mints all day (which just covers your stinky breath anyway), drink mouthwash (ummmm don’t… just don’t), or devour toothpaste (ugh. you hopefully wouldn’t try that anyway), the best way to eliminate a whole lot of that bad-smelling bacteria is by cleaning your tongue.

But when you clean your tongue — especially back in the back where the worst-smelling bacteria tend to hang out and thrive — it can be hard to avoid gagging. That’s why we’re here with 7 simple steps for how to clean your tongue without gagging.

First: Choose Your Tongue Cleaner

OK… so I need to brush my tongue. I can just use my toothbrush, right?

Sure… if you want to gag!

Why TUNG is Better Than Your Toothbrush

Unlike toothbrushes, the TUNG Brush is wide and short. This allows you to clean all the way at the back of your tongue (where the worst-smelling gunk lives) in fewer swipes.

How to clean your tongue without gagging

Why TUNG is Better Than a Tongue Scraper

Sure… there are lots of other tongue cleaners out there. Just remember: scrapers are for windshields.

If you’ve ever used a tongue scraper, then you know that it does remove stuff from your tongue. But imagine trying to scrape peanut butter off of sandpaper with a butter knife. You know that you’re just smoothing out the stuff in the cracks, right? That’s how scrapers leave your tongue.

If you’re considering using a scraper instead of a brush specifically designed for your tongue… consider this:

In a study by Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, 92% of people preferred the TUNG Brush over scrapers & toothbrushes when cleaning their tongues.

Plus: tongue scrapers can hurt!

Now that you have the right tool for the job… here’s how to brush your tongue without gagging.

7 Steps to Avoid Gagging When You Clean Your Tongue

“But,” you say, “I gag when I even brush my teeth!”

You can avoid the gag reflex by following some simple steps.

  1. First, rinse your TUNG Brush with some warm water – that will soften the bristles
  2. Place some TUNG Gel on the brush.
  3. Start by brushing the front of your tongue to get used to the feel and texture of the brush and gel. So far, no gagging, right? Awesome.
  4. Now, take a deep breath, and
  5. Hold your breath
  6. Move the brush to the back of your tongue for some quick swipes. Go easy the first few times you clean that far back. Don’t worry… you’ll get better at it!
  7. Then—and here’s the fun part—you have permission to hock a loogie and spit! How often does that happen?

Within no time at all, you will get used to the brush and the sensation of cleaning the back of your tongue and you won’t gag!

Go ahead, practice. And then when you are all done, go ahead and talk to your friends, kiss your partner goodnight and pat your dog. No more running away, right? Now, aren’t you glad you used the TUNG Brush and Gel?

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How to clean your tongue without gagging

Tara Moore/Getty Images

I’d like to think I’m pretty on top of my oral hygiene. I brush my teeth twice a day every day. I also try to stick to experts’ recommendation that I brush for a full two minutes every time.

But until recently, even I, Two-Minute Tooth Brushing Girl, was missing a crucial component from my oral hygiene routine: I wasn’t cleaning my tongue. As it turns out, brushing or scraping your tongue may help you get rid of grody bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Though the American Dental Association says brushing your tongue isn’t a necessary step for good oral health in the same way brushing your teeth and flossing are, some evidence shows it can help tame breath that reeks. At the very least, it might make your mouth feel really clean. Here’s why cleaning your tongue can be a good idea, plus the right way to do it, if you’re so inclined.

Though tons of bacteria are hanging out in your mouth at any given moment, most of them aren’t harmful, Lisa Simon, D.M.D., an oral health and medicine integration fellow at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, tells SELF. It seems completely counterintuitive, but many bacteria in your mouth protect you by keeping out foreign organisms, like disease-causing pathogens, Philip Tierno, Ph.D., director of clinical microbiology and diagnostic immunology at New York University Medical Center, tells SELF.

A lot of the bacteria living in your mouth are anaerobic, meaning they don’t need oxygen to survive, Dr. Tierno says. These anaerobic bacteria—including the ones on your tongue—can produce various byproducts, including sulfur compounds, which can smell like straight-up trash.

How bad the sulfur smells will vary, Sally Cram, D.D.S., a periodontist based in Washington, D.C., tells SELF. For example, if you’ve eaten recently, bad breath can get way more pronounced because anaerobic bacteria can feed on food debris, break it down, and release those smelly sulfur compounds.

Having a dry mouth can also make the smell more severe, Dr. Cram says. This can happen if you’re dehydrated or if you have the aptly named condition dry mouth. Saliva neutralizes bacterial acids and limits bacterial growth, according to the Mayo Clinic, so when your spit is running low, bacteria may be able to cause more of a smell.

The bacteria that causes bad breath is usually non-pathogenic, meaning it’s not harmful or disease-causing, Dr. Tierno says. But sometimes, bad breath could mean you have an infection, like gum disease, aka periodontitis. If your bad breath is accompanied by symptoms like swollen gums, bleeding gums, loose teeth, or painful chewing, you should talk to your dentist.

Cleaning your tongue is pretty easy, Vera Tang, D.D.S., a New York-based dentist, tells SELF. You can either use a tongue scraper or toothbrush once or twice a day after brushing your teeth.

If you have a strong gag reflex, Dr. Tang recommends you use a tongue scraper, because it’s flatter and may feel less intrusive than a toothbrush. But if you’d rather not spring for a tongue scraper, you can use the same toothbrush you use on your teeth every day. Since your tongue and teeth touch all the time and share a ton of bacteria, you don’t need a separate toothbrush to clean them, Dr. Simon says.

Once you have your tool of choice, you’ll want to stick your tongue out as far as you can, Dr. Tang says. Then reach to the back of it and scrape outward to the tip. Be careful not to press too hard—you don’t want to cut your skin. Just apply gentle pressure, rinsing the scraper or toothbrush off after each pass to avoid re-depositing all that crud back on your tongue.

If your gag reflex is giving you trouble, you can try humming to distract yourself while you do this, Dr. Tang says. You can also try not extending your tongue as much.

If you’d rather not come face-to-face with all the stuff hanging out on your tongue, you can just use mouthwash instead. You can opt for a cosmetic mouthwash, which can basically mask bad breath, or you can go for a therapeutic one that’s actually meant to control bacteria that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and other oral hygiene issues. Therapeutic mouthwash is available by prescription and over the counter. Here’s more information on figuring out which kind of mouthwash makes sense for you.

All you have to do is rinse it off the same way you’d rinse off a toothbrush, Dr. Cram says. If you want to go the extra mile, you can dip it in some mouthwash, as well.

You should be replacing your toothbrush every three or four months, so if you’re using a designated tongue scraper, you can grab a new one that often, too. The only exception is if you’re sick, whether with a cold or some other kind of infection. You’ll want to get a new toothbrush and tongue scraper to start from a clean slate, Dr. Simon says.

Remember, clean doesn’t mean 100 percent bacteria-free. “Most people’s tongues and mouths are dirty, but that’s a totally normal thing for your mouth to be,” Dr. Simon says. Still, if you want to know whether or not your tongue-cleaning efforts have been successful, check out your tongue in the mirror. It should be a fleshy pink color, Dr. Cram says.

If it looks black and hairy, white, or any other color besides pink, that probably just means there’s a buildup of debris on your tongue that you can clean off using the above method. See a dentist if the fuzziness or abnormal color persists despite regular cleaning.

Once you’ve stuck out your tongue, given it a once-over, and signed off on its fleshy, pink appearance, you’re good to go. Feel free to repeat the process daily, or just whenever your tongue takes on a weird color, or your mouth feels a little dirtier than usual. Your tongue (and the people you talk to) will thank you.

How are your oral health habits? Have you been cleaning your tongue properly?

People often rush through brushing their teeth (you should be brushing for at least 2 minutes!) and forget to clean their tongue. If you’re guilty of skipping your tongue, you could be compromising the health of your mouth.

A clean mouth includes the teeth, gums, and tongue. When you neglect to clean all of these, you’re leaving yourself open to side effects of poor oral hygiene, including bad breath or halitosis.

The good news is you can prevent bad breath by brushing away the bacteria and germs that collect on your tongue. Over half of oral halitosis cases are caused by germs on the tongue that can easily be cleaned away by your toothbrush. Find out how to clean your tongue properly for a healthy smile.

How to clean your tongue without gagging

Can tongue scraping help get rid of bad breath?

Sure, tongue scraping can help remove built up residue on the tongue, but it’s not enough to maintain good oral health. In order to banish bad breath permanently, you should combine tongue scraping with good dental hygiene. This includes thoroughly brushing your teeth and tongue twice a day and flossing every day to remove debris.

While tongue scraping may be especially helpful for those with a coated tongue (a build up of residue, bacteria, and dead cells on the tongue) when coupled with good oral health practices, it’s just a temporary solution for halitosis when used on its own.

How to clean your tongue without gagging

What tongue cleaning tools should you use?

Having a clean tongue and mouth starts with the right cleaning tools. Take a look at the three options to determine which is best for you.

Tongue scrapers

Made in both metal and plastic designs, tongue scrapers help ‘scrape’ debris off your tongue. Just place the scraper on the back of your tongue and gently pull it forward. Tongue scrapers can help temporarily reduce bad breath by removing most of the tongue’s germs and bacteria, but they pose the risk of damaging the tongue if not used gently.

Regular toothbrushes

You should be pretty familiar with this one (we hope!). While many people think using a regular toothbrush alone is enough to keep their tongue clean, this isn’t the case. Toothbrushes are made to clean smooth surfaces on teeth, not to get in all the tiny grooves on your rough tongue. They do remove some bacteria and debris, but shouldn’t be your only means of cleaning your tongue.

Specially made tongue brushes

Designed to get in all those crevices on the tongue, specially made tongue brushes are about as effective as tongue scrapers at removing germs. You can buy these on their own or in a combination product that features a regular toothbrush on one side and a tongue brush on the other.

How to clean your tongue without gagging

How to clean your tongue

Clean your tongue once a day after brushing your teeth.

  • Be sure to rinse your tongue cleaner before you use it to get rid of any food debris.
  • Start at the back of your tongue, working your way to the front. You may have to do this a few times for a thorough clean if using a tongue brush.
  • Don’t just clean the middle of your tongue – clean the entire top and side surfaces.
  • Rinse your tongue cleaner and your mouth.

Please note: Scraping too aggressively can cause damage to the tongue and tastebuds. Be gentle!

How to clean your tongue without gagging

How to scrape your tongue without gagging

Some people avoid tongue cleaning because they have a sensitive gag reflex. If this is you, try these tips to avoid triggering your gag reflex when cleaning your tongue:

  • If you’re using a brush, work in small circular motions and eventually work your way to the back of the throat, stopping short of the area that triggers the gag reflex.
  • If you’re using a tongue scraper, avoid placing it too far back into your mouth.
  • Try flossing your tongue instead. This method won’t remove as much residue as scraping, but it does help reduce gag reflex.
  • Relax! Gag reflex is your body’s way of protecting you from choking, so try to relax your tongue and throat muscles and distract yourself with pleasant thoughts.

Once you’ve started to clean your tongue daily, you’ll probably find your gag reflex desensitises. Persistence is key!

How to clean your tongue without gagging

Tara Moore/Getty Images

I’d like to think I’m pretty on top of my oral hygiene. I brush my teeth twice a day every day. I also try to stick to experts’ recommendation that I brush for a full two minutes every time.

But until recently, even I, Two-Minute Tooth Brushing Girl, was missing a crucial component from my oral hygiene routine: I wasn’t cleaning my tongue. As it turns out, brushing or scraping your tongue may help you get rid of grody bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Though the American Dental Association says brushing your tongue isn’t a necessary step for good oral health in the same way brushing your teeth and flossing are, some evidence shows it can help tame breath that reeks. At the very least, it might make your mouth feel really clean. Here’s why cleaning your tongue can be a good idea, plus the right way to do it, if you’re so inclined.

Though tons of bacteria are hanging out in your mouth at any given moment, most of them aren’t harmful, Lisa Simon, D.M.D., an oral health and medicine integration fellow at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, tells SELF. It seems completely counterintuitive, but many bacteria in your mouth protect you by keeping out foreign organisms, like disease-causing pathogens, Philip Tierno, Ph.D., director of clinical microbiology and diagnostic immunology at New York University Medical Center, tells SELF.

A lot of the bacteria living in your mouth are anaerobic, meaning they don’t need oxygen to survive, Dr. Tierno says. These anaerobic bacteria—including the ones on your tongue—can produce various byproducts, including sulfur compounds, which can smell like straight-up trash.

How bad the sulfur smells will vary, Sally Cram, D.D.S., a periodontist based in Washington, D.C., tells SELF. For example, if you’ve eaten recently, bad breath can get way more pronounced because anaerobic bacteria can feed on food debris, break it down, and release those smelly sulfur compounds.

Having a dry mouth can also make the smell more severe, Dr. Cram says. This can happen if you’re dehydrated or if you have the aptly named condition dry mouth. Saliva neutralizes bacterial acids and limits bacterial growth, according to the Mayo Clinic, so when your spit is running low, bacteria may be able to cause more of a smell.

The bacteria that causes bad breath is usually non-pathogenic, meaning it’s not harmful or disease-causing, Dr. Tierno says. But sometimes, bad breath could mean you have an infection, like gum disease, aka periodontitis. If your bad breath is accompanied by symptoms like swollen gums, bleeding gums, loose teeth, or painful chewing, you should talk to your dentist.

Cleaning your tongue is pretty easy, Vera Tang, D.D.S., a New York-based dentist, tells SELF. You can either use a tongue scraper or toothbrush once or twice a day after brushing your teeth.

If you have a strong gag reflex, Dr. Tang recommends you use a tongue scraper, because it’s flatter and may feel less intrusive than a toothbrush. But if you’d rather not spring for a tongue scraper, you can use the same toothbrush you use on your teeth every day. Since your tongue and teeth touch all the time and share a ton of bacteria, you don’t need a separate toothbrush to clean them, Dr. Simon says.

Once you have your tool of choice, you’ll want to stick your tongue out as far as you can, Dr. Tang says. Then reach to the back of it and scrape outward to the tip. Be careful not to press too hard—you don’t want to cut your skin. Just apply gentle pressure, rinsing the scraper or toothbrush off after each pass to avoid re-depositing all that crud back on your tongue.

If your gag reflex is giving you trouble, you can try humming to distract yourself while you do this, Dr. Tang says. You can also try not extending your tongue as much.

If you’d rather not come face-to-face with all the stuff hanging out on your tongue, you can just use mouthwash instead. You can opt for a cosmetic mouthwash, which can basically mask bad breath, or you can go for a therapeutic one that’s actually meant to control bacteria that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and other oral hygiene issues. Therapeutic mouthwash is available by prescription and over the counter. Here’s more information on figuring out which kind of mouthwash makes sense for you.

All you have to do is rinse it off the same way you’d rinse off a toothbrush, Dr. Cram says. If you want to go the extra mile, you can dip it in some mouthwash, as well.

You should be replacing your toothbrush every three or four months, so if you’re using a designated tongue scraper, you can grab a new one that often, too. The only exception is if you’re sick, whether with a cold or some other kind of infection. You’ll want to get a new toothbrush and tongue scraper to start from a clean slate, Dr. Simon says.

Remember, clean doesn’t mean 100 percent bacteria-free. “Most people’s tongues and mouths are dirty, but that’s a totally normal thing for your mouth to be,” Dr. Simon says. Still, if you want to know whether or not your tongue-cleaning efforts have been successful, check out your tongue in the mirror. It should be a fleshy pink color, Dr. Cram says.

If it looks black and hairy, white, or any other color besides pink, that probably just means there’s a buildup of debris on your tongue that you can clean off using the above method. See a dentist if the fuzziness or abnormal color persists despite regular cleaning.

Once you’ve stuck out your tongue, given it a once-over, and signed off on its fleshy, pink appearance, you’re good to go. Feel free to repeat the process daily, or just whenever your tongue takes on a weird color, or your mouth feels a little dirtier than usual. Your tongue (and the people you talk to) will thank you.

Between the food you eat and the beverages you drink, your tongue attracts more than its fair share of bacteria. In fact, some estimate that more than 40,000 types of bacteria live on your tongue. If left unchecked, the bacteria on your tongue could contribute to bad breath and tooth decay. Unfortunately, many people struggle to brush their tongue on a regular basis. Some individuals have a hypersensitive gag refl ex, and when they touch the back of their tongue, they gag or vomit. If you fi nd cleaning your tongue a traumatic experience every morning or night, try the following techniques.

1. Try a tongue scraper instead of a toothbrush Your toothbrush works well for cleaning the smooth surfaces of your teeth. Th e bristles slide over your enamel and allow you to quickly remove lingering food particles. However, your tongue has a rougher surface, and the soft toothbrush bristles will slide over your tongue rather than dig into the crevices. If your toothbrush slides too far back, you’ll gag before you can fi nish your cleaning session. For a more eff ective clean, invest in a tongue scraper.

Tongue scrapers feature a curved edge that scrapes away germs and bacteria when you drag the device across your tongue. Researchers have found that a tongue scraper can remove as much as 75% of compounds that cause bad breath while a toothbrush can only remove 45%.

2. Work with your sensitive points Th e tip of your tongue is relatively self-cleaning. Whenever you eat, chew, or speak, your tongue’s tip comes in contact with your hard palate, and the friction removes bacteria and debris buildup. In contrast, the back portion of your tongue only contacts the soft palate, and the movements your tongue makes near the area are fairly gentle. Consequently, you may see a white, gray, or brownish fi lm building up in a triangular section of your tongue.

Th is is the area you’ll need to focus on whenever you brush or clean with a tongue scraper. Unfortunately, the back portion of your tongue can also trigger your pharyngeal refl ex or gag refl ex. If you accidentally place your scraper or toothbrush too far back while you clean, you may fi nd yourself heaving. To remove buildup without gagging, fi nd the center groove in your tongue and follow it back to where the line ends. Gently place your scraper at this portion of your tongue and pull the scraper forward toward the less-sensitive tip. Don’t clean the bumpy mounds of tonsillar tissue at the furthest reaches of your tongue.

If you fi nd that the end of your groove is still too sensitive to clean eff ectively, position the scraper a little further forward and scrape from there. With practice, you can suppress your gag refl ex and work the scraper further and further back until you can completely scrub away the buildup.

3. Hold your toothbrush perpendicular to your tongue If you don’t own a tongue scraper yet, you can still clean your tongue without losing your latest meal. You simply have to alter your brushing technique.

How to clean your tongue without gagging

There are many people that brush their teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit their dentist every six months that are still undermining their oral health by overlooking their tongues. Your tongue is a muscular organ integral to chewing, swallowing, and speaking, and it is covered by taste buds that let you sense not only flavors but textures. Your tongue is also a haven for bacteria.

Much of the bacteria that collects on your tongue is good bacteria required for a healthy ecosystem within the mouth. But there are also bad bacteria that cause bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay, and cleaning your tongue avoids the accumulation of bad bacteria, food particles, and dead cells.

The Importance of Your Tongue

The tongue is an organ often taken for granted because without we could not speak, whistle, enjoy the taste of food or even chew and swallow it. While the tongue is often referred to as a muscle, it is actually an organ that comprises multiple different muscles. Each muscle in that group has a distinct job.

There is a small muscle at the tip of the tongue, for instance, that you use to move food from the front of your mouth to the back, and it is also essential for making certain sounds, such as pronouncing the letter L. Other muscles are responsible for twisting the tongue into various shapes and moving it up, down, in, out, and side to side. The muscles at the back of your mouth move food into your esophagus in controlled amounts so that you do not choke, and they are needed to make hard sounds like K and G.

The Oral Health Benefits of Cleaning Your Tongue

Just as bacteria builds up between your teeth and beneath the gumline—where it can form plaque and harden into calculus if not removed—it accumulates on your tongue. Your tongue is coated in hundreds of tiny structures known as papillae, which house taste buds and other functions. There are grooves between these bumps, and these areas accumulate bacteria, food particles, and dead cells.

Your tongue has a layer of mucous that is refreshed over time, and that process can trap bacteria and debris. The trapped substances can cause bad breath as well as discoloration of the tongue. A dirty tongue can also redeposit that bacteria onto the teeth and gums, which means that your teeth and gums can be attacked by acids throughout the night, for instance, even though you just brushed and flossed before going to bed.

The Proper Way to Clean Your Tongue

Most dentists agree that you can clean your tongue by either brushing or scraping it. Brushing can be done with your toothbrush. Moisten the brush. Start at the back of the tongue, and use gentle circular motions as you move toward the tip. If you are brushing your teeth and gums, it is fine to use the fluoride toothpaste on the tongue, and the residue can actually be beneficial. In addition to gently brushing your tongue, you should brush your cheeks and the roof of your mouth.

An alternative to brushing your tongue is scraping it. To do this in a safe manner requires you to purchase a dedicated tongue scraper, but these devices—even products made from surgical steel—are relatively inexpensive and can last a lifetime. You can purchase them online but find them in most local pharmacies as well. They are shaped so that the scraper can glide over the tongue. This removes the top layer of mucus and all the bacteria, food particles, and dead cells it contains. Many people find it easier to avoid the gag reflex when using a tongue scraper as opposed to brushing the back of the tongue.

To use a scraper, stick your tongue out and places the curved end of the tool at the back of the tongue. Use gentle, even pressure as you move the scraper from the back to the front. The direction is important so as not to inadvertently ingest the materials you are trying to remove. The debris will be on the edge of the scraper, and you can just wash it off in the sink. If you want to disinfect your tongue scraper, you can do so by soaking it in hydrogen peroxide as you would with a toothbrush.

How Often You Should Clean Your Tongue

Brushing or scraping your tongue should be performed whenever you brush. It is generally advised that you brush once in the morning after breakfast and again at night before going to bed. It is very important not to skip scraping before bed since bad bacteria can be quite disruptive overnight.

See Your Dentist Twice a Year

No matter how comprehensive and consistent your oral hygiene routine, it is imperative to see your dentist bi-annually for a checkup. During that visit, your dentist will perform a comprehensive exam, which extends far beyond your teeth and gums to your tongue and even your head and neck. Dentists are integral to early diagnoses, and he or she may notice lumps, lesions, and other symptoms that can indicate various disease and other health conditions, such as cancer, anemia, and autoimmune disorders.

Maintain a Clean and Healthy Tongue

Avoid bad breath and protect your teeth and gums by brushing or scraping your tongue on a daily basis. You also need regular visits to your dentist to ensure that you are winning the battle against plaque and preventing gum disease and tooth decay. Schedule an appointment with Scottsdale Dental Excellence to have your teeth cleaned and to have Jeffrey D. Clark, DDS, perform a comprehensive exam. You can call us at 480 585 1853 to make that appointment or with any questions that you may have.

Cleaning your tongue is so important to your overall oral health. Of course, brushing helps keep tartar and plaque to a minimum on your teeth between routine cleanings, and that’s important to help keep your gums in order. However, there are other oral health factors besides plaque and tartar – namely bacteria. The bulk of oral bacteria actually lives on the back of the tongue. That’s why cleaning your tongue is so important. If you don’t, you’re inviting bacteria to set up shop and make your mouth their personal hang out.How to clean your tongue without gagging

*This is sponsored with TUNG. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*How to clean your tongue without gagging

Cleaning Your Tongue is a Key Part of Oral Health

I like to remind my patients that I promote good ORAL health, not just good tooth health. Oral encompasses the teeth, gums, AND the tongue. It’s an encompassing term that we use to talk about keeping all parts of the mouth healthy, and a major part of that is keeping your tongue clean. By keeping your tongue clean, you help protect your mouth from things like oral infection and halitosis as well as other health issues like diabetes and heart disease which have been linked to poor oral health. Here’s how I break it down good overall oral health for my clients.

  • Brush and floss to keep plaque and tartar at a minimum on your teeth to promote a healthy smile and gums.
  • Clean your tongue to eliminate all that bacteria that lives there to help further protect your oral health and improve breath.
  • Rinse and gargle with mouthwash to help get rid of any bacterial stragglers in the mouth.

As you can see, good oral health requires a multi-faceted approach, which is why I’m such a strong advocate for cleaning your tongue. Unfortunately, it can cause gagging in some people. That’s why I’m excited about the TUNG brush. As the name implies its a tongue brushed designed to remove bacteria on the tongue without causing that gagging reflex.

How to clean your tongue without gaggingCleaning Your Tongue with TUNG

The TUNG brush is designed specifically to clean your tongue without gagging. Their unique design enables you to clean your tongue without gagging – even far back on the tongue – due to its low profile Its circular-shaped brush head is made to effectively brush away gunk and bacteria while being small enough to prevent the gag reflex from kicking in. What’s more, the zinc compound which comes with the brush for tongue cleaning neutralizes the sulfur gas that causes bad breath. And its curved, ergonomic handle means its easy to get into all those nooks and crannies – again, without gagging. I can’t emphasize that enough. You would not believe how many people who come into my practice can’t clean their tongues.

Another important reason for cleaning your tongue with the TUNG brush is preventing cross contamination. Think about what your toothbrush does. It scrubs your teeth right up to the gum line and even massages your gums. The tongue contains the bulk of oral bacteria, so the last thing you want to do is get that all over your toothbrush so you can grind it into your teeth and gums. Gross.How to clean your tongue without gagging

Cleaning Your Tongue Keeps Your Whole Mouth Cleaner

Cleaning your tongue is such an important part of your overall oral health. If you’re not doing it, you missing a key part of the process. The TUNG brush is specifically designed to effectively remove that nasty bacteria that hangs out on your tongue, putting you at risk for halitosis and other issues. I recommend cleaning your tongue every time you brush your teeth, and I recommend doing it with the TUNG brush. Give it a try.

TO GET YOUR FREE TUNG KIT CLICK HERE AND ENTER THIS CODE:

How to clean your tongue without gagging

There are many people that brush their teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit their dentist every six months that are still undermining their oral health by overlooking their tongues. Your tongue is a muscular organ integral to chewing, swallowing, and speaking, and it is covered by taste buds that let you sense not only flavors but textures. Your tongue is also a haven for bacteria.

Much of the bacteria that collects on your tongue is good bacteria required for a healthy ecosystem within the mouth. But there are also bad bacteria that cause bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay, and cleaning your tongue avoids the accumulation of bad bacteria, food particles, and dead cells.

The Importance of Your Tongue

The tongue is an organ often taken for granted because without we could not speak, whistle, enjoy the taste of food or even chew and swallow it. While the tongue is often referred to as a muscle, it is actually an organ that comprises multiple different muscles. Each muscle in that group has a distinct job.

There is a small muscle at the tip of the tongue, for instance, that you use to move food from the front of your mouth to the back, and it is also essential for making certain sounds, such as pronouncing the letter L. Other muscles are responsible for twisting the tongue into various shapes and moving it up, down, in, out, and side to side. The muscles at the back of your mouth move food into your esophagus in controlled amounts so that you do not choke, and they are needed to make hard sounds like K and G.

The Oral Health Benefits of Cleaning Your Tongue

Just as bacteria builds up between your teeth and beneath the gumline—where it can form plaque and harden into calculus if not removed—it accumulates on your tongue. Your tongue is coated in hundreds of tiny structures known as papillae, which house taste buds and other functions. There are grooves between these bumps, and these areas accumulate bacteria, food particles, and dead cells.

Your tongue has a layer of mucous that is refreshed over time, and that process can trap bacteria and debris. The trapped substances can cause bad breath as well as discoloration of the tongue. A dirty tongue can also redeposit that bacteria onto the teeth and gums, which means that your teeth and gums can be attacked by acids throughout the night, for instance, even though you just brushed and flossed before going to bed.

The Proper Way to Clean Your Tongue

Most dentists agree that you can clean your tongue by either brushing or scraping it. Brushing can be done with your toothbrush. Moisten the brush. Start at the back of the tongue, and use gentle circular motions as you move toward the tip. If you are brushing your teeth and gums, it is fine to use the fluoride toothpaste on the tongue, and the residue can actually be beneficial. In addition to gently brushing your tongue, you should brush your cheeks and the roof of your mouth.

An alternative to brushing your tongue is scraping it. To do this in a safe manner requires you to purchase a dedicated tongue scraper, but these devices—even products made from surgical steel—are relatively inexpensive and can last a lifetime. You can purchase them online but find them in most local pharmacies as well. They are shaped so that the scraper can glide over the tongue. This removes the top layer of mucus and all the bacteria, food particles, and dead cells it contains. Many people find it easier to avoid the gag reflex when using a tongue scraper as opposed to brushing the back of the tongue.

To use a scraper, stick your tongue out and places the curved end of the tool at the back of the tongue. Use gentle, even pressure as you move the scraper from the back to the front. The direction is important so as not to inadvertently ingest the materials you are trying to remove. The debris will be on the edge of the scraper, and you can just wash it off in the sink. If you want to disinfect your tongue scraper, you can do so by soaking it in hydrogen peroxide as you would with a toothbrush.

How Often You Should Clean Your Tongue

Brushing or scraping your tongue should be performed whenever you brush. It is generally advised that you brush once in the morning after breakfast and again at night before going to bed. It is very important not to skip scraping before bed since bad bacteria can be quite disruptive overnight.

See Your Dentist Twice a Year

No matter how comprehensive and consistent your oral hygiene routine, it is imperative to see your dentist bi-annually for a checkup. During that visit, your dentist will perform a comprehensive exam, which extends far beyond your teeth and gums to your tongue and even your head and neck. Dentists are integral to early diagnoses, and he or she may notice lumps, lesions, and other symptoms that can indicate various disease and other health conditions, such as cancer, anemia, and autoimmune disorders.

Maintain a Clean and Healthy Tongue

Avoid bad breath and protect your teeth and gums by brushing or scraping your tongue on a daily basis. You also need regular visits to your dentist to ensure that you are winning the battle against plaque and preventing gum disease and tooth decay. Schedule an appointment with Scottsdale Dental Excellence to have your teeth cleaned and to have Jeffrey D. Clark, DDS, perform a comprehensive exam. You can call us at 480 585 1853 to make that appointment or with any questions that you may have.