How to Get Plaque Off Your Tongue

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Plaque is a thin, colorless film that builds up as colonized bacteria attempts to attach itself to your teeth. Plaque typically carries with it a strong odor and is often the cause of bad breath. When you allow plaque to build up over the day, it can coat the surface of your tongue in a thin, foul-smelling layer. If you brush your teeth and neglect your tongue, you leave bacteria and odor in your mouth. Removing the plaque from your tongue requires only a few minutes of time at the end of each day.

Things You'll Need

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Tongue scraper
  • Mouthwash
  • Brush your teeth as you would normally, using toothpaste and a toothbrush. Spit out the toothpaste after you finish brushing your teeth and rinse your toothbrush under cool water.

  • Place a small dollop of toothpaste onto your toothbrush and stick out your tongue. Begin brushing your tongue at the tip and work your way back as far as you can without triggering your gag reflex.

  • Continue brushing your tongue for one minute.

  • Spit out the toothpaste and rinse your toothbrush.

  • Scrape your tongue from the back to the front using a tongue scraper. Place the tongue scraper on your tongue as far back as you can without triggering a gag reflex. Press down lightly and scrape all the way to the tip of your tongue. Rinse the tongue scraper after you finish.

  • Gargle with mouthwash for 20 seconds, then swish it over the entirety of your tongue for another 20 seconds. Spit out the mouthwash when you finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you notice a continued buildup of plaque on your tongue, consult with your dentist to ensure an underlying health issue is not the cause.

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References

  • "Mosby's Comprehensive Review of Dental Hygiene"; Michele Leonardi Darby BSDH MS; 2006
  • Photo Credit toothbrush image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com
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