Is brushing our tongue as critical as brushing our teeth and flossing? Well for those who dislike brushing their tongue, the American Dental Associations states that brushing our tongue isn’t as important as brushing our teeth and flossing. Also, this action causes the uncomfortable reaction of gag reflex while doing it, but that shouldn’t stop you from brushing your tongue anyway. 

So why is it important

One fact is that not brushing our tongue causes bad breath and another reason is to maintain a healthy oral hygiene. 

Our tongue is not flat at all. It has bumps called papillae and crevices. Food particles and bacteria gets stuck in the areas if we do not clean it out. Our mouth is covered in bacteria all the time, and even if those bacteria are not harmful, they are anaerobic which produces byproducts like sulfur compounds. Sulfur compounds can smell nasty, thus creating bad breath.

Not brushing our tongue can create oral yeast infection. Again, we have 700 different type of bacteria in our mouth. Some of those bacteria are harmless, but the ones that are harmful if not removed from the mouth can cause you to get yeast infections in the mouth. Then the yeast turns into oral thrush, and oral thrush is something not to mess with. You’ll have this white cream patches along your tongue and it will be difficult to eat, and swallow and you can sometimes lose your taste. 

Bacteria on our tongue can also spread to our teeth. Even if we brush our teeth and floss daily, food particles in our tongue will spread and what’s near our tongue, our teeth. This can cause gingivitis and if not treated can loosen our teeth and fall out eventually.

How do I brush my tongue?

It’s very simple. Our tongue is very delicate, so when we brush our tongue, we do not need to put too much pressure against it. Putting a lot of pressure will cause your tongue to become irritated and inflamed. If you are someone who gags when the toothbrush is all the way to the back, try working from the front of the tongue first. Get familiar with the toothbrush or tongue scraper. Once you’re in an area of sensitivity and you feel you’re about to gag, relax your tongue and exhale fully. Move your toothbrush or tongue scraper back and forth, side to side, and then rinse your mouth. Make sure you rinse the brush or tongue scraper. If you need assistance on how to brush your tongue, make an appointment with us so we can help you to keep your tongue clean.


There are many more reasons to why it is important to brush our tongue. Our main goal here at Grand Mission Dentistry is to help you keep your oral hygiene in a very healthy state. Although the American Dental Associations state that it’s not important, it didn’t state that you shouldn’t brush your tongue. Keeping your tongue clean helps keep your oral hygiene healthy, it removes harmful bacteria and keeps you away from having serious consequences. If you still have more questions, please give us a call or make an appointment so we can help you.