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Tongue Cleaning: Can Reduce The Cold Or Flu Virus.

Updated on May 19, 2017
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Retired clinical dental assistant instructor from S.F.V.A.M.C..and wrote articles on preventive dentistry for employee newspaper.

Why and How To Clean Your Tongue

After you finish brushing and flossing your teeth don't forget to clean your tongue! Because, the tongue can spread a cold or flu virus to from person to person through saliva, coughing, sneezing, phlegm, mucus, sputum, vomit, sore throat and kissing.


* After you re-cover from the cold or flu replace your used toothbrush and tongue brush with a new one to avoid re-infecting yourself. Also replace your tube of toothpaste. Can you imagine how many times you have place your toothbrush up against your toothpaste?


You can start cleaning your tongue by placing the bristles of a soft toothbrush in a right angle position towards the mid-line of the tongue. Then with the tongue extended place the bristles on the back of the tongue drawing the brush back and forward over the tip of the tongue using light pressure. Repeat this 3 to 4 times. Do not scrub the papilla, ( where the taste buds are located).

The following are other tools you can use to clean your tongue:

1. There are brushes on the market today specifically designed for cleaning the tongue. The bristles are shorter and firmer than a regular toothbrush to prevent a gagging reflex.

2. A tongue scraper can be use to remove the odor-forming plaque bacteria and has no gagging reflex vs. a toothbrush.

3. A teaspoon can as be used with the concave surface facing the tongue. With the teaspoon you will be able to clean further back on the tongue than you can with a toothbrush. And it doesn't trigger a gag reflex.


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