Dr Gokul Raj shares the Do’s and Don’ts of tongue cleaning to maintain oral hygiene

Tongue cleaning is an important part of oral hygiene along with brushing and flossing. Dr. Gokul Raj shares the do’s and don’ts of tongue cleaning to prevent cavities and bad breath.
Dr Gokul Raj shares the Do’s and Don’ts of tongue cleaning to maintain oral hygiene
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Do you neglect your tongue while brushing your teeth? Turns out, brushing and flossing is not enough to kill the bacteria living in your mouth. Cleaning your tongue regularly is important because it is as much a target of the bacteria as your teeth are. Not cleaning your tongue increases your risk of developing cavities and bad breath. 

The tongue has all sorts of elevations and taste buds within which the bacteria may hide. Cleaning your tongue helps get rid of the biofilm which forms on the tongue because of the bacteria. The accumulation of plaque and bacteria can lead to bad breath. The best way to eliminate bacterial buildup is by regularly cleaning your tongue. According to Dr. Gokul Raj T.R, Dentist, Aster Clinic, J.P. Nagar, “Regularly cleaning the tongue will also lead to improved taste, better digestive health and strong immunity.” 

Here are the dos and don’ts of tongue cleaning as shared by Dr Gokul Raj. 


1. Be consistent with tongue cleaning. It must be done every day, twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.

 2. Use the right tools. Purchase a good quality tongue scraper that has smooth edges.

 3. Visit the doctor if any serious symptoms are seen. For e.g., persistent, white patches in the month, bad breath, or an ulcer that does not go away.

 4. If new to tongue scraping, one might experience a gagging reflex. Start scraping from the middle of the tongue and gradually towards the back of the tongue.


1. Do not apply too much pressure on the tongue. Using too much force may damage the taste buds or injure the delicate surface of the tongue.

 2. A toothbrush is less effective than a tongue cleaner to clean the tongue. Use it only temporarily in case a tongue cleaner is not available.

 3. Do not go back and forth on the tongue. Move the scraper gently from the back to the front.

 4. Don’t stress over the yellow/white discharge on the tongue. It will eventually become clearer over time.