Yes, you do need to brush your tongue. The mouth does not only contain teeth and gums. It also contains the tongue, which plays a huge role in digestion. When we eat different types of food, it mixes with saliva and begins to break down the foods into smaller particles so that they can be absorbed more effectively by our body.

Saliva is essential for breaking down fats and even certain carbohydrates such as starch. Saliva also helps in breaking down proteins, especially hard-to-digest ones. The tongue plays a significant role in this process.

The tongue contains thousands of small, sharp papillae built for the sole purpose of digesting food. These papillae contain millions of digestive enzymes essential for breaking down, mixing, and flowing food along the digestive tract towards the intestines.

There are several reasons why we need to brush our tongues. Some of them are below:

1. Brushing your tongue will remove bacteria and toxins from the mouth.

2. Brushing your tongue will improve your oral health. Several bacteria will form on the tongue if you do not brush it. If these bacteria are not removed, they can then attack the tooth enamel and cause cavities and other dental problems in the future.

3. Brushing your tongue is a good way to prevent bad breath, as it dislodges the food particles from within the mouth, which can cause bad breath.

4. Bacteria removed from the tongue will not build up on other areas in the mouth, such as on your gums, teeth, and in between teeth, which is why brushing your tongue is important.

What Happens When you Don’t Brush Your Tongue?

1. You increase your chances of getting cavities

2. You increase your chances of getting bad breath (halitosis).

3. You increase your chances of having gum disease (gingivitis).

4. Your taste buds become dull and less sensitive.

5. Your gums tend to lose some of their support function.

6. You increase the possibility of developing other dental problems such as gum and periodontal diseases.

How to Clean Your Tongue

Here are some ways to clean your tongue:

1. Brush your teeth with a toothbrush. Use the back of your toothbrush and brush from one corner of your tongue towards the other. Brush on both sides of the tongue and up and down to clean in between the teeth. Try to avoid any area around the gums or near the teeth. Try to only focus on brushing your tongue without removing food particles that may still be in your mouth.

2. Spit out food or sugary fluids that remain in your mouth.

3. Rinse your mouth with a small amount of water or mouthwash.

4. Gargle for about 30 seconds until you have dislodged any particles from the tongue and have a good taste of the water from your mouth.

5. Brush your teeth afterward to remove whatever is left on the toothbrush bristles after brushing the tongue.

6. Repeat at least once daily to ensure your mouth is clean, and you are not inviting any cavity-causing bacteria.

Benefits of cleaning your tongue

1. Cares for mouth health. Brushing your tongue will clean the inside of your mouth and prevent harmful bacteria from growing and forming in the mouth.

2. Prevents bad breath (halitosis). It is due to food particles left on the tongue that can cause bad breath (halitosis). Because of these particles, oral bacteria can establish in the mouth and cause bad breath. By brushing your tongue, you will be keeping these food particles from building up in your mouth and allowing harmful bacteria to develop.

3. Brushing your tongue will increase the taste of foods you consume by exposing more indigestible material for the digestive enzymes on the tongue to break down and enhance its absorption into the body.

4. This gives you a healthier and fresher version of the foods you consume.


It is often said that brushing your teeth is not enough to maintain oral health. It would help to brush your tongue to keep the mouth clean and healthy. Brushing your teeth will prevent dental problems such as gum disease and cavities. But by keeping the mouth clean, you are also preventing bacteria from developing, which will keep your mouth healthy.

It is also important to remember that even though this seems like a ‘quick fix, it can take time to see results. It is important to brush your tongue every day if you want to see significant results.

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