3 Alternative Ways To Clean Your Tongue When Brushing It Sets Off Your Gag Reflex

Dentist Blog

Having a clean mouth that is not a haven for bacteria includes not only having clean teeth and gums, but also a clean tongue. While many people simply brush their tongues with their regular toothbrush and paste after brushing their teeth, this can be difficult if you have a sensitive gag reflex like 10 to 15-percent of adults do. Don't worry, because you can still clean your tongue without gagging when you try one of these alternative tongue-cleaning techniques.

1. Try a Tongue Scraper

You can purchase a tongue scraper online or in a local drugstore, and it is very affordable and simple to use. These scrapers consist of a handle that is similar to a toothbrush handle, yet slimmer, and a loop at the end made of either plastic or stainless steel. It won't make you gag since the device is much slimmer than the head of a toothbrush.

To use a tongue scraper properly, simply scrape your tongue three times from the back of it to the front. Scrape once in the middle and once on each side. Scraping just after you brush and still have a light coating of toothpaste in your mouth is a good idea to really get your tongue clean and free of bacteria.

2. Opt for a Bacteria-killing Mouth Rinse

If you have an extremely sensitive gag reflex, then even a tongue scraper may set it off when you attempt to clean the portion of your tongue closest to your throat. If that happens to you, then first simply clean your tongue as far back as you can with a scraper or toothbrush. Then, follow up by using an antibacterial mouth rinse and make sure to swish well to make sure it hits the back of your tongue.

Choose an alcohol-free mouth rinse, as dentists now recommend limiting rinses that contain alcohol to only occasional use due to their association with increased oral cancer risk.

3. Consider Oil-Pulling

Oil-pulling used to be dismissed by modern medicine practitioners as a tradition with little real benefit. Now, it is believed that oil-pulling can have great oral-health benefits when the right antibacterial oil is used, such as coconut oil. Swishing coconut oil in your mouth for a few minutes before or after brushing can help clean your tongue by killing bacteria on it.

You can't have a truly healthy mouth without having a clean tongue. For more information, contact Sun Dental & Orthodontics or a similar location.


6 October 2015

Emergency Dental Care

The average dentist takes many client appointments each day and also deals with emergency situations on a regular basis. Dental emergencies are very common because people are likely to put off having tooth pain fixed until the pain becomes unbearable. Some people have anxiety about dental visits, and others are trying to avoid the expense of dental care. In either case, the end result is often a dental emergency. I have worked as a professional dental hygienist for many years and have seen all types of dental emergencies. I hope that this blog will help people identify potential emergencies before they become too serious and will allow people to know when to get help.