How To Properly Brush Your Gums and Tongue

Let’s talk about a subject that could seem kind of silly to some people, but it’s more important than you think. If you’re not currently brushing your gums and tongue every time you brush your teeth, you’re doing it wrong! Who knew?

If you stop to think about it for a minute, it makes perfect sense that the same bacteria wreaking havoc on your teeth can also do a number on your gums and tongue. These bacteria tend to cling to the taste buds on your tongue and cause bad breath. That’s the last thing you want, so start brushing that tongue (especially towards the back) every day to get rid of that funky smell you’re so embarrassed about. If you’ve never brushed your gums or tongue before, don’t worry! I’m going to tell you about the correct way to do it for the best results.

How To Brush Your Gums

Let’s first start with how to properly brush your gums. When you brush your teeth, your toothbrush probably automatically scrubs the portion of your gums that’s closest to your teeth. But you also need to give the upper and lower portions of your gums a little TLC. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this, so pay close attention or you could potentially develop gum recession issues (yikes!)

Follow these steps to brush your gums the right way.

  1. Get your toothbrush wet (preferably with lukewarm water if you have any tooth sensitivity).
  2. Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste in the middle of your toothbrush head.
  3. Use gentle, circular motions to brush the surface of your gums. Be careful here—brushing too hard could cause your gums to recede over time or could scratch your gum tissue.
  4. Once you brush the outer surface of your gums, move to the roof of your mouth and use circular motions to clean the entire surface of the roof of your mouth.
  5. Rinse your mouth out once you have gently brushed all your gum tissue.

Brushing your gums should be included as part of your teeth-brushing routine every day. Once you’re finished with your teeth, simply move on to your gums and finish up with your tongue.

How To Brush Your Tongue

Your tongue is like a petri dish for bacteria. You can see some of the bacteria if your tongue is coated with a thick, white film. This is usually an indication of illness as well. The easiest way to get rid of that cesspool of bacteria is to use a tongue scraper. Yes, that’s a real thing and it doesn’t cost much money.

Use the tongue scraper to gently scrape away the layer of bacteria and other debris coating your tongue. Then finish up by brushing your tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush that has a small amount of toothpaste on it. Use gentle back-and-forth motions. To avoid gagging yourself, stick your tongue out to brush as far towards the back as you can. Once you’re finished, rinse with water and enjoy your minty-fresh breath. That’s all there is to it. Happy brushing!