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You may brush twice a day, floss every night, use mouthwash and keep some sugarless breath mints in your pocket, and still have bad breath. Before you get too concerned, ask yourself one questions: Are you cleaning your tongue? Looking at your tongue, you might not realize that it is home to millions of bacteria that cause bad breath and could cause other problems. Besides the health benefits, a clean tongue can give you a fresh feeling in your mouth.

You can clean your tongue by using your toothbrush if you prefer. After you are done brushing your teeth, add some more toothpaste to the brush, and start scrubbing from the back of your tongue to the front. Remember to clean the sides of your tongue as well. While this will work, remember that your toothbrush is designed to clean the relatively smooth surfaces of your teeth. Your tongue actually has crevices in it that your toothbrush could miss.

Another method is to use a tongue scraper. This is a piece of plastic or metal designed to be placed at the back of your tongue and pulled gently forward. There are also tongue brushes that can reach into the crevices and grooves of your tongue to remove the bacteria living there. With a tongue brush, you also scrub your way from the back to the front. No matter which of these three you use, you should rinse them when you are done, and rinse your mouth as well.

While cleaning your tongue has certain benefits, remember that a solid oral hygiene regimen includes visiting your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Anthony J. Collins at Gentle Dental Care in Mundelein, Illinois, call 847-566-5350 today. We look forward to seeing you soon!