The tongue contains several flexible muscles that allow you to speak, chew, suck, and swallow. With over 10,000 taste buds, the tongue also plays a critical role in helping you taste and enjoy the food you eat.
How To Maintain A Healthy Tongue
While most people understand the importance of caring for their teeth, it’s important to know that oral care goes beyond your pearly whites. Adopting the following dental habits will help protect your tongue and improve the overall health of your mouth.
Practice Basic Oral Hygiene
The surface of your tongue is covered in tiny bumps called papillae, which help you taste food. These sensory papillae can also trap bacteria that can result in bad breath, loss of taste, and changes to the physical appearance of the tongue. Just like the teeth, the tongue should be thoroughly brushed at least twice a day to remove any residual food or bacteria in the mouth. A toothbrush and tongue scraper are both sufficient tools for this task, but be sure to scrub tougher spots like the back of the tongue.
Stay Hydrated For a Healthy Tongue
Drinking enough water has significant dental health benefits. When you don’t drink enough water, the body’s initial reaction is to stop producing saliva, which plays a vital role in fighting bad breath and protecting teeth from decay. Staying hydrated throughout the day helps wash away food particles and bacteria that live on your tongue. Try to drink at least eight cups of water a day for a healthier and happier tongue.
Keep a Healthy Diet
As a muscle, the tongue benefits from a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Your tongue thrives on iron-rich foods, which include leafy greens like spinach as well as red meats, seafood, and poultry. To further fight against harmful bacteria in the mouth, foods with anti-microbial components like chopped onions, ginger, garlic, and coconuts can also give your tongue a health boost.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
The American Dental Association highly recommends that patients visit the dentist at least once every six months. At Storts Family Dentistry, we’ll provide you with a thorough oral exam and routine cleaning to ensure your tongue and teeth are in good health. If you have noticed any significant changes in the overall health of your tongue or are experiencing a dental emergency, our dental professionals are here to meet your needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment today at one of our Southern Oklahoma locations.