The Importance of a Clean Tongue

The human tongue plays many critical roles. It functions as a digestive organ and facilitates the movement of food when chewing and swallowing. It also assists with taste and speech. While the tongue is vital to good health, few people give it the attention it deserves.

You already know the importance of regular brushing and flossing, but did you know that your tongue needs to be cleaned too? Your mouth can never be truly clean without a clean tongue. As a body part that collects vast amounts of bacteria, this flexible, muscular organ requires daily brushing to remove food and bacteria from its many crevices, elevations, and taste buds.

Reasons to Clean Your Tongue

Here are some of the top reasons why you should clean your tongue every day:

1. Remove Odor-Causing Bacteria – The tongue is home to countless bacteria, some good and some bad. One of the most problemsome bacteria that reside on the tongue release unpleasant odors that contribute to bad breath. Cleaning your tongue on a regular basis can help eliminate these odor-causing germs.

2. Enhance Taste – Over time, a biofilm of bacteria and debris builds up on the surface of the tongue. This biofilm can negatively impact the taste buds and make it difficult to enjoy your foods. When you clean your tongue, it removes this biofilm and allows you to fully taste your foods.

3. Reduce the Risk of Periodontal Disease – Similar to tooth decay, a buildup of bacteria on the teeth can lead to gum disease and other oral health diseases. Too much bacteria on the tongue can also set off an inflammatory response that can advance to periodontal disease.

4. Boost Immunity – Your tongue is your first line of defense for your immune system. Cleaning your tongue helps prevent toxins from entering the body and negatively impacting your immune system. A clean tongue is also an important part of maintaining good digestive health.

5. Lower the Risk of Oral Thrush – Oral thrush refers to an infection caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth. White patches can appear on the tongue when bacteria levels in the mouth build to excessive amounts. Cleaning your tongue, in combination with antifungal medications, can help treat and prevent oral thrush.

How to Properly Clean Your Tongue

There are tongue cleaning methods that are effective, easy, and inexpensive. Here is a look at two options and how to clean your tongue using each tool.

Tongue Scraper

Tongue scrapers can eliminate bacteria on the tongue. Some studies have found tongue scrapers to be more effective than toothbrushes. Here’s how to clean your tongue with a tongue scraper:

  • Choose a tongue scraping instrument. Most scrapers are constructed from plastic or metal and may feature a handle for ease-of-use.
  • Stick out your tongue as far as possible.
  • Place the scraper at the back of the tongue and press down slightly.
  • Pull the scraper towards the front of the tongue while applying light pressure.
  • Run the scraper under warm water to remove bacteria.
  • Spit out any saliva left in the mouth after performing a tongue scraping.
  • Perform another pass on the tongue, clean, and spit. Do this between two and five times.
  • Clean the tongue scraper and store it in a clean, dry area for next use. Scrape your tongue one to two times per day.


If you don’t have access to a tongue scraper, a toothbrush will also work in a pinch. A toothbrush may be less effective than a scraper, but many people find it easier to use. It can also be more convenient as you already brush your teeth twice a day. Here’s how to clean your tongue using a toothbrush:

  • Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Stick out your tongue as far as possible.
  • Position the toothbrush at the back of the tongue.
  • Using gentle pressure, brush back and forth along the tongue.
  • Rinse out the toothbrush with warm water and spit out any saliva that has accumulated in the mouth.
  • Clean the tongue each time you brush your teeth.

Contact Your Clermont Family Dentist

Don’t underestimate the importance of a clean tongue. To learn more about proper tongue cleaning or to schedule a dental checkup with our Clermont dentist, contact Hancock Village Dental.

Hancock Village Dental

2560 E, State Rte 50

Suite 103

Clermont, FL 34711


Excellent staff. I have been to a lot of dentists over my years, but this staff was the best ever. Very Impressed. The hygenist taught me a lot about my teeth that I never knew. The office was extremely clean and used modern technology. I was seen in a very timely manner and didn't have to wait at all. I highly recommend going to this practice!

Laura Stein | Florida

Very friendly and made the visit extremely comfortable for my children! They can't wait to go back.

Jennifer Gomez | Florida

For a child to say he is so excited to see the dentist is a GO for me as a mom. The atmosphere is just awesome and so friendly. The staff is phenomenal and family oriented. This is where you should be for your dental needs.

Sylvia Rivera | Florida

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