3 mins read

Why You Should Be Brushing Your Tongue

by | Mar 16, 2022

For some people, brushing the tongue is a routine activity, done every time they brush their teeth. For others, brushing the tongue is a task they would never think to do. If you’re one of those who don’t include this as a part of their oral hygiene routine, it can do more harm than you think. Brushing the tongue is a good way to get rid of bacteria in the mouth, thus keeping your teeth cleaner and your breath smelling sweeter. Here’s what you need to know about brushing your tongue.

Why You Should Be Brushing Your Tongue

You are doing a disservice to yourself by not brushing your tongue, considering the amount of bacteria that lives on your tongue. Brushing is the only way to get rid of this bacteria, because the tongue is a stubborn place to clean and mouthwash won’t get the job done.

To brush your tongue, start by applying toothpaste to your toothbrush. Stick out your tongue, then gently set the toothbrush on the back of your tongue. Rub your toothbrush back and forth on your tongue gently. Be careful not to brush too hard, or you may scrape your tongue. Use this technique to clean the entirety of your tongue. Scrub the entire surface.

Some tips:

  • After you’re done brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth to wash the remaining bacteria away.
  • You may have a gag reflex while doing it for the first time. No worries! Avoid pushing too hard or placing the toothbrush too far at the back of your throat. You’ll get used to brushing your tongue and over time, this problem should go away.

Cleaning your tongue has one benefit that many don’t realize: it freshens your breath. Bad breath can be caused by infections all over the mouth and throat, but generally it stems from the bacteria thriving on your tongue. If you struggle with bad breath, but brush often, scrubbing your tongue will eliminate that unpleasant odor.

Why isn’t using mouthwash good enough to eliminate bacteria?

Many people assume that mouthwash helps eliminate the bacteria on their tongue, thus making brushing unnecessary. It turns out that when you rinse with mouthwash, only the outer cells of the bacteria are killed. When you brush, the toothbrush scrubs away the entire bacteria.

Dentists Recommend Brushing Your Tongue

Dentists recommend brushing your tongue as a part of your daily oral hygiene routine. While many people don’t do it, it’s an important activity. Brushing your tongue can:

  • Prevent infections. By brushing your tongue and thus eliminating more bacteria in your mouth, you can prevent infections and painful oral hygiene problems.
  • Prevent more bacteria from growing. Getting rid of bacteria in your mouth can stop bacteria from becoming an unmanageable problem.
  • Clean your mouth. The more brushing you do, the cleaner your mouth will get!
  • Prevent bad breath. Don’t let bad breath embarrass you. Cleaning your tongue can lead to fresher breath throughout the day.

Contact Triangle Dentistry Raleigh

At Triangle Dentistry, we can help you maintain fresh breath and a clean mouth, with less bacteria. Our experienced and polite dental professionals are here to answer your questions and give you information that can help you take care of your teeth. To learn more about how you can maintain good oral hygiene, call today. We’re ready to help give you a perfect smile.


Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 847-6000