Dr. Lon Riemer
231-7 St Anne St,
St. Albert, AB T8N 2X4


Preventative and Aesthetic Dentistry

Why Tongue Cleaning Is Important in Oral Hygiene

Woman using a tongue cleaning tool

Most people in St Albert understand how important daily brushing and flossing is to their oral health. But did you know that you should be cleaning your tongue on a regular basis too?

Your tongue harbours bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells in its groves that harm your teeth and gums. The scraping action of a tongue scraper or toothbrush collects these toxic coatings and removes them from your body. Left to fester, these toxins can lead to more than just periodontal problems.

Here are five important reasons to keep your tongue clean:

  1. Improve your immune response. Your tongue is part of your immune system’s first line of defense. Cleaning your tongue prevents toxins from being reabsorbed into your body and boosts your overall immune function.
  2.  Better digestion. Tongue cleaning promotes saliva production. That helps your body better digest and assimilate food throughout the day.
  3. Taste more of what you eat. With a coating covering your tongue, you are not experiencing the full flavour of your food. By cleaning your tongue on a regular basis you expose pores and taste buds more, allowing you to truly indulge in your sense of taste.
  4. Banish bad breath. Halitosis (bad breath) can significantly impact your life, relationships, and self-esteem. Your dentist in St Albert has likely told you that brushing your tongue can help but try a scraper instead. It is more effective at thoroughly removing the bacteria that causes bad breath.
  5. Stop bacteria in its tracks. Cleaning your tongue, especially the back part, promotes better oral hygiene. It stops some of the harmful bacteria from reaching your teeth and gums before it can contribute to plaque, tooth decay, gingivitis and gum disease.

How to Clean Your Tongue

Cleaning your tongue is straightforward and pain-free. Use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper, just don’t overdo it and break the skin.

  • Brush your tongue back and forth, then side to side
  • Rinse your mouth out with water
  • Clean off your brush or scraper

Make sure you clean your tongue at least once a day. If possible, do so in the morning before eating or drinking as that is when most bacteria is present on your tongue – hence the morning breath.

If you’re scraping your tongue, flossing, and brushing and chronic bad breath or a thick white coating persist longer than a week, make an appointment with your family dentist in St Albert.

Dr. Lon Riemer, St Albert’s Family Dentist

Dr. Riemer has been a trusted dentist serving St Albert families since 2005. We are a full-service dental clinic focusing on general family dentistry, emergency dental, and many cosmetic dental services. Contact us to book an appointment today!