Your tongue may not be as clean as you think it is. It harbors bacteria that often reveals its presence in the form of bad breath through build-up of foods and other residue. Although the American Dental Association doesn’t include tongue brushing as a step toward maintaining good oral health, it’s a step that can certainly keep your breath smelling better and help you to maintain a cleaner mouth.

A Little Bacteria Never Hurt…

Not cleaning your tongue can cause unsightly build up from all the different foods you’ve consumed over a period of time. This build-up produces bacteria that often has an unpleasant smell. Dr. James Kellam of  Bernardsville Dental Care in Bernardsville, NJ understands this and wants to help patients maintain good oral hygiene, but also wants them to understand what’s going on. The good news is that the bacteria in your mouth operates like an army, protecting your teeth and gums form harmful pathogens and diseases. In fact, it’s safe to say that the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth is non-pathogenic, which means that it’s not harmful and will not do any damage to your oral health. But at times, they can cause unpleasant odor.

A Little Brushing Won’t Hurt…

Fortunately, you can easily tame bad breath by simply making it a practice to brush or scrape your tongue. This shouldn’t be a rigorous process because you shouldn’t to be too rough with your tongue. If you’re using a scraper you should be gentle to avoid cutting your tongue. You can effectively clean your tongue by brushing or using a tongue scraper. Both are effective and will help eliminate bad odors. However, if you don’t want to do this you can use mouthwash.

Although a build-up of foods and other residues can create bad breath, it’s good to know that the bacteria that forms on your tongue has more of a protective function for your oral health. However, no one wants to walk around with smelly breath. Make tongue brushing or scraping a part of your dental regimen to nip bad breath in the bud.

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