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How to clean your tongue to reduce bad breath

If you are worried about bad breath and you didn’t already know, brushing your tongue is one of the easiest ways to remove bad breath causing bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

Bad breath is possibly caused by foods like garlic and onions; drinks like coffee and alcohol; dry mouth; gum disease and a few other more serious medical conditions, like diabetes or gastrointestinal disorders. Sometimes, if your bad breath is just from poor dental hygiene as opposed to a serious medical condition, you can curb the odor with a simple approach.

To curb the odor, here is a recommendation for how to clean your tongue:

  • Tools needed: tongue scraper, toothbrush

  • Steps:

  1. Tongue scrapers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. When using a tongue scraper, you start by placing it at the back of your tongue and then pull the scraper forward to scoop off the layer of film at the top of the tongue.

  2. Next, rinse your mouth out with some water.

  3. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush your teeth thoroughly for the allotted two minute recommended time.

  4. Finally, lightly brush your tongue to remove excess plaque, rinse and you are done!

While the ADA has shared that there is no strong evidence linking tongue scrapers as any more effective than regular brushing of the tongue with a toothbrush, we’ve given you an easy five step process to best help you achieve results.

Additionally, our team here at Shane McDowell Dentistry recommends that if you don’t have the time to dedicate to tongue cleaning, you can try chewing sugarless gum to loosen up foods that may be stuck in your teeth.

If you live in or are new to the Fort Myers area and have been looking for a new dental practice, give us a call. My staff and I genuinely care about our patients’ comfort and dental care needs. We provide a safe and relaxed environment, in addition to professionalism and expertise to help you best achieve a healthy and happy smile. Call us at (239) 936-0597 or visit our website at

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