Stick out your tongue. No, really. Find a mirror and stick out your tongue as far as you can. What do you see? A coating that’s white, yellow, or various shades of green? In extreme cases of tongue neglect, “black and hairy” has also been sighted.
Yikes! That coating is bacteria ... stinky bacteria made up of food particles, dead skin cells and sinus drip from the nasal cavities.
All this gunk gets trapped on the grooves and ridges of the tongue, turning the mouth into a virtual “stink factory.” A dirty tongue can also start to affect your taste.
Tongue bacteria release foul-smelling odor molecules called Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs). Every time you open your mouth, these VSCs are released into the air … and into the breathing space of the person right in front of you!
Don’t believe how stinky your tongue really is? Take the spoon test challenge!
Grab a regular kitchen spoon (just make sure to put it into the dishwasher afterward), invert it, and then scrape it firmly down your tongue from back to front. Note: start as far back as you can without inducing your gag reflex.
Let the goop you collect sit on the spoon for a minute, and then give it a sniff. Whatever YOU smell is what other people smell when you open your mouth.
1. Breathe Through Your Nose
Mouth breathers are much more likely to have a bacteria-coated tongue. When you breathe through the nose, you won’t dry out your mouth as much. Dry mouth is a leading cause of halitosis (bad breath).
Keep your tongue happy by drinking plenty of water each day, including during and after meals. (Sodas, coffee, and alcohol don’t count as hydration – sorry!)
Not only will water keep your saliva flowing (a natural defense against bacteria), it will also help wash away food particles that could get trapped on the tongue and start to stink.
3. Give It a Once-Over
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 1 American dies from oral cancer every single hour, every single day. Regularly checking of your tongue can help you catch oral cancer early. Look at the top, bottom and sides, checking for any skin changes, cuts, and white or red patches that don’t heal after a couple of weeks.
Also – your dentist or dental hygienist should be examining your tongue during your routine dental exams, especially if you’re over age 40. If they aren’t doing this – ask!
4. Make Tongue Cleaning a Regular Part of Your Dental Routine
Tongue scraping will change your home dental care routine as you know it. Clean your tongue twice a day, before you brush, and have the confidence of long-lasting fresh breath.
Note: You can grab a spoon any time you’re in a pinch, but it only removes a fraction of the amount of gunk that a tongue scraper can. And, tongue scrapers aren’t as bad on the gag reflex.
And if you’re only brushing your tongue instead of scraping your tongue, consider this: tongue scraping removes 75% more of odor-causing bacteria versus brushing.
Nothing cleans the tongue like Oxyfresh Tongue Scrapers. They’re designed to really get into those ridges and remove more gunk, giving you longer lasting fresh breath protection.
Oolitt® Elite Tongue Scraper: Uniquely designed to provide dual-action and double the effectiveness over other tongue cleaners. Clinical Research Associates (CRA) has rated the Oolitt® Elite as one of the most favorable tongue cleaners in the dental industry. Ideal for people with halitosis and who prefer the convenience of one-handed tongue cleaning. More information...
Oolitt® Tongue Scraper: This tongue cleaner is clinically proven to be the #1 brand in the dental market. A patented, ripple edge has been carefully designed to ensure maximum comfort and function. Bend this flexible tongue scraper as needed to remove stinky tongue bacteria. Simple and easy to use. Available in singles or 50-pack so the whole family can have fresh breath. More information...
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