The Benefits of Tongue Cleaning

Maintaining oral hygiene involves more than just caring for your teeth and gums; it also includes the often-neglected practice of tongue cleaning. At Schowengerdt Family Dentistry in Lees Summit, MO, Dr. Brian Schowengerdt emphasizes the importance of this simple yet effective routine. Let’s explore the benefits of tongue cleaning and how it contributes to overall oral health.

Why is Tongue Cleaning Important?

The tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria due to its rough surface and numerous papillae. Cleaning your tongue regularly can:

  1. Reduce Harmful Bacteria: Removing bacteria from the tongue can significantly reduce the overall bacterial load in the mouth, decreasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  2. Improve Breath: Many cases of bad breath (halitosis) are due to the buildup of bacteria and food particles on the tongue.
  3. Enhance Taste: Regular tongue cleaning can remove the coating that often forms on the tongue, potentially improving taste sensitivity.
  4. Boost Oral Hygiene: Tongue cleaning complements your regular brushing and flossing routine, enhancing overall oral hygiene.

How to Clean Your Tongue Effectively

Tongue cleaning is a straightforward process that can be done with a toothbrush or a specialized tongue scraper. Here’s how:

  1. Using a Tongue Scraper: Place the scraper at the back of your tongue and gently pull it forward, rinsing it after each pass.
  2. Using a Toothbrush: Gently brush your tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush, either alone or with a small amount of toothpaste.
  3. Rinse Thoroughly: After scraping or brushing, rinse your mouth with water to remove any dislodged debris and bacteria.

The Best Time for Tongue Cleaning

Incorporate tongue cleaning into your daily oral hygiene routine, ideally in the morning and before bed. This ensures the removal of bacteria that accumulate overnight and throughout the day.

Tongue cleaning not only benefits oral health but also contributes to better overall health. By reducing the bacterial load in the mouth, it can help prevent the spread of these bacteria to other parts of the body.

Tongue Cleaning and Dental Work

For those with Dental Implants or Invisalign, maintaining a clean tongue is essential to prevent bacteria from affecting these treatments. It’s also important for those with Dentures, as a clean tongue can enhance comfort and hygiene.

Considerations and Tips

  • Be Gentle: Avoid scraping or brushing too hard to prevent irritation.
  • Choose the Right Tool: Consider a tongue scraper for a more effective clean, as they are designed specifically for the tongue’s surface.
  • Consistency is Key: Make tongue cleaning a regular part of your daily routine for the best results.

Regular Dental Check-Ups

Along with tongue cleaning, regular Dental Cleaning & Consultation visits are vital. These visits allow for professional cleaning and the chance to discuss any concerns about your oral hygiene routine.

Schedule Your Visit Today

Ready to enhance your oral hygiene routine? Tongue cleaning is a simple addition to your daily oral hygiene that can have a significant impact. At Schowengerdt Family Dentistry, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve the best oral health possible. Contact Dr. Brian Schowengerdt at Schowengerdt Family Dentistry in Lees Summit, MO, for expert dental care and personalized advice. Call 816-524-3535 today to schedule your appointment.


  1. American Dental Association: Oral Hygiene Basics
  2. Journal of Periodontology: Impact of Tongue Cleaning on Oral Health
  3. Clinical Oral Investigations: The Role of Tongue Hygiene in Oral Health