Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, can be a side effect of certain prescription medications, chronic dry mouth, or gum disease. However, there are other times when bad breath issues can be related to a problem with your daily oral hygiene routine. In a situation like this, you might want to try including a tongue cleaning after you are done brushing.
This can help reduce the bacterial presence in the rough surfaces of your tongue. The net effect is less plaque buildup and a fresher breath.
When cleaning your tongue, you can use your still-wet toothbrush to brush your tongue in a gentle, circular motion. Make sure you brush around the sides of the tongue and the rough surface of the taste buds. This will help free your tongue of some bacteria and it can refresh your mouth.
Some oral hygiene manufacturers sell tongue scraper devices. They typically come in the form of a small, plastic handle with a mildly sharp edge on one side. To use the tongue scraper, you should work from front to back, making multiple overlapping sweeps. If you notice a buildup of material on the blade’s edge, you should rinse it off before making another pass over your tongue.
Once your tongue has been cleaned, you can rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash. This can also help you wash away lingering oral matter and freshen your breath. Just keep in mind that antiseptic mouthwash can’t clean between teeth with the effectiveness of flossing.
If you live in the Muscatine, Iowa, area and you have oral hygiene concerns, you can always call 563-263-9082 to set up a consultation at Lifetime Dentistry with Dr. Holly Krystek.