Should you brush your gums and tongue?

While we know it’s important to brush and floss our teeth, it’s not as obvious whether we should brush our tongue or gums. After all, our tongue doesn’t grow cavities and our gums are probably taken care of when we floss, right? 

The truth is, cleaning these areas goes a long way to helping your oral health.

Should you brush your tongue?

Even though your tongue feels smooth, it is quite complex! There are grooves and crevices where bacteria can hide and get trapped, just like bacteria gets trapped between your teeth. You can tell this is the case because drinking certain beverages like red wine, coffee, or Kool-aide turns your tongue a different colour! 

Brushing your tongue takes just a few seconds while you brush your teeth. Brush side to side and back and forth, but be gentle. It doesn’t take a lot of force or pressure to remove the bacteria, and you might cause a gag reflex if you are too jerky with your motions. Brushing too hard can break the skin as well, causing cuts, swelling, and discomfort. So keep it smooth, simple, and rinse with water when you’re done.

The benefits of brushing your tongue is removing harmful bacteria that can cause greater problems, and also helping to treat bad breath, which is often caused by bacteria on the tongue.

Should you brush your gums?

Just like brushing your tongue, brushing your gums is recommended and only takes a bit of awareness while you brush your teeth. Flossing can get between the teeth and helps prevent bacteria build-up that makes your gums red, inflamed, and sensitive. 

However, it’s also a good idea to give your gums a little brush as well. Just like the tongue, you don’t need a lot of pressure or force – your gums, especially if you’ve lapsed in your flossing, can easily bleed and become uncomfortable, so be gentle. 

The main benefits of brushing your gums is removing plaque and food from the gumline, and keeping them clean and strong.

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