Want to Curb Bad Breath? Don't Forget About Your Tongue!

While bad breath can come from a variety of sources—dry mouth, tobacco use, diet, or conditions such as chronic sinusitis, gastrointestinal problems or worse—your tongue could be contributing to the problem. Physically removing the bacteria on your tongue can help with bad breath and also help keep your mouth cleaner.

Tongue scrapers or toothbrushes can remove excess plaque and bacteria which cause the odor. Brushing the tongue may also help stimulate saliva flow, which also contributes to a healthy mouth. According to the American Dental Association, 60 million folks experience halitosis, or bad breath. We chew gum and suck on mints to temporarily conquer the odor but rarely take the extra few seconds when brushing to target the tongue.

The Bottom Line: At least once a day, brush your tongue, without toothpaste, firmly scraping from the back to the tip, then rinse. And don’t forget to change your toothbrush every three months or so.