Don’t Forget to Brush Your Tongue!

When we talk about a proper oral hygiene routine (and we sure do talk about it a lot!), we often put most of the focus on caring for your teeth. While brushing and flossing your teeth are important parts of maintaining a healthy mouth, there’s one part of your hygiene routine your dentist in Boerne doesn’t want you to forget about — your tongue. 

All About The Tongue

You may not pay too much attention to your tongue, but the truth is, this part of your body helps you perform everyday tasks such as talk, chew, and swallow. Of course, we can’t forget about taste! Our tongues are packed with over 10,000 taste buds that help us taste and enjoy our favorite foods. One of the strongest muscles in our bodies, our tongues have a bumpy and almost spongy texture, which makes them an ideal place for bacteria to hide, which is a concern for your dentist in Boerne. In fact, if you don’t take good care of your tongue, it could lead to some dental concerns. 

Decay & Gum Disease 

One of the most concerning ways an uncared for tongue can affect oral health is by increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Since our teeth and gums are in contact with our tongues every second of every day, it’s incredibly easy for any bacteria lurking in our tongue grooves to transfer on to our teeth or gums. When this bacteria isn’t removed promptly or when the exposure happens constantly, it can lead to decay and gum disease. Decay may require a filling, and gum disease can lead to more complicated problems and even tooth loss.  

Bad Breath

Many things can cause bad breath, but an unbrushed tongue is one of the most common explanations. When bacteria aren’t removed from the tongue, it can easily build-up, and if this buildup isn’t removed, it will give off an unpleasant odor. Getting into a tongue brushing routine can help remedy bad breath, but if it doesn’t go away, see your dentist. 

Decreased Taste

Bacteria buildup on the tongue doesn’t only cause bad breath, it can actually affect our ability to taste. Think of it this way, the buildup essentially covers up your taste buds in a film. Without full access to the foods we eat, our taste buds can’t absorb and taste all of our favorite foods. 

Black Tongue

If a tongue isn’t cared for over a long period, it may begin to look black and hairy. That’s correct, not brushing your tongue could lead to a black, hairy tongue! How? When food and drink particles are allowed to settle into the tiny little tongue bumps (called papillae), it can result in staining, hence the black tongue. While this can be scary, it’s usually fixable by properly brushing your tongue regularly. 

Proper Tongue Brushing

Brushing your tongue is an easy addition to your at-home hygiene routine and should be done every time you brush your teeth. All you need to do is gently scrub your tongue from back to front then from side to side with your regular toothbrush. If this is uncomfortable for you or if you have a sensitive gag reflex, you may find using a tongue scraper to be easier. Tongue scrapers are also effective at removing bacteria buildup and can help protect your oral health. 

Make sure to brush and floss your teeth every day and to give your tongue some attention every time to keep your whole mouth healthy. Also, see your dentist in Boerne at least twice a year for professional cleanings and regular checkups. 

Is Cosmetic Dentistry Right for Me?

We all want to have a smile that we’re proud of and can feel confident about showing it off in pictures and in public. After all, your smile can say a lot about you. But what do you do if you’re unhappy with your teeth and shy away from sharing it with the world? Turn to your dentist in Boerne to see whether cosmetic dentistry may be the solution you’re looking for. Here is a great place to start. 

Determine What You Want

Before you or your dentist will know whether cosmetic dentistry will give you the smile you want, you need to know what it is you’re trying to achieve. The more specific you can be about what you don’t like about your smile as well as what you wish was different, the more you’ll know about whether or not cosmetic dentistry is the right solution for you. Take these questions into consideration: 

  • Do I wish my teeth were whiter? 
  • Do I want a straighter, more even smile? 
  • Does this minor chip in my front tooth really bother me? Would I feel better if it was fixed?

Find the Best Cosmetic Dentist for You

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of desires, the fun part of finding the best dentist for you can begin. Although it may seem like a daunting task, it really doesn’t have to be. Check-in with family and friends to see if they have any recommendations or head online to search for local cosmetic dentists in your area. Read reviews, check out websites, and look at before and after photos. After you’ve decided on a dentist, schedule a consultation

Know What Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments Are Out There

There are several treatments that all fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry, but not all of them are right for every situation. Let’s check out a few common treatments. 

  • Teeth Whitening – If you want to take your teeth from dull and discolored to bright and white, you may want to consider a professional smile whitening treatment. Whitening that’s done by your dentist in Boerne can boost your teeth up to several shades brighter in just one visit. 
  • Veneers  – Like teeth whitening, veneers can help brighten the appearance of dull, discolored teeth that don’t respond to bleaching. Veneers essentially cover up the front surface of teeth with a thin piece of porcelain. They’re custom created in shape and color for a natural look so nobody will even know they’re there. 
  • Bonding – Dental bonding is another option that can correct discoloration but it can also fix minor chips, cracks, or gaps for a more even smile. The process involves both science and art to create a natural appearance but the results can transform a smile.

Nobody should have to live with a smile they’re unhappy with. Luckily, we have cosmetic dentistry to help. If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry, make a list of what you’d like to change, research cosmetic dentists in Boerne, and become familiar with which treatments can help you get the look you want. Finally, make the move and schedule a consultation. Your journey to a new smile is only a phone call away.