How to Clean Your Tongue With Baking Soda Like a Pro

A tongue being gently brushed with a toothbrush covered in baking soda

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Oral hygiene is a crucial aspect of our overall health and well-being. While most people focus on brushing their teeth and flossing, the tongue often gets overlooked. However, the tongue can harbor bacteria, food particles, and dead cells, leading to bad breath and other oral health issues. One effective and inexpensive way to clean your tongue is by using baking soda. This household staple has antibacterial properties and can effectively remove the buildup on your tongue. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of cleaning your tongue with baking soda like a pro.

Understanding the Importance of Tongue Cleaning

Before diving into the how-to, it’s essential to understand why tongue cleaning is so important. The tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms. These can contribute to bad breath, also known as halitosis, and can even lead to other oral health problems if not properly managed.

Regular tongue cleaning can help prevent these issues. It can also enhance your sense of taste, as a clean tongue is better at distinguishing between different flavors. Moreover, it can make your mouth feel fresher and more comfortable, contributing to your overall oral hygiene routine.

The Role of Baking Soda in Tongue Cleaning

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a versatile household product with a range of uses. In the context of oral hygiene, it’s known for its antibacterial properties. Baking soda can neutralize harmful bacteria in your mouth, helping to combat bad breath and promote overall oral health.

Moreover, baking soda is mildly abrasive, which makes it effective at removing the buildup of debris and dead cells on your tongue. Despite its abrasive nature, it’s gentle enough to be used on the delicate tissues of your mouth without causing harm.

How to Clean Your Tongue With Baking Soda

Now that you understand the importance of tongue cleaning and the role of baking soda, let’s get into the step-by-step process. This method is simple, effective, and requires only a few common household items.

  1. Start by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste. The consistency should be thick enough to stick to your toothbrush or tongue scraper.
  2. Apply the paste to your tongue. You can use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper for this. If you’re using a toothbrush, make sure it’s a soft-bristled one to avoid causing any damage to your tongue.
  3. Gently scrub your tongue with the paste. Start from the back of your tongue and work your way to the front. Make sure to cover the entire surface of your tongue, including the sides.
  4. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. This will help remove the baking soda and any dislodged debris from your mouth.
  5. Repeat this process once a day, preferably at night before going to bed.

It’s important to note that while baking soda is effective at cleaning your tongue, it should not replace regular brushing and flossing. These are still crucial for maintaining good oral health.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

While baking soda is generally safe for oral use, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects and precautions. Overuse of baking soda can lead to enamel erosion due to its abrasive nature. Therefore, it’s recommended to use it sparingly and not more than once a day.

Some people might also experience a slight burning sensation or dryness in their mouth after using baking soda. If you experience any discomfort or adverse reactions, stop using it and consult a healthcare professional.

Who Should Avoid Using Baking Soda?

While baking soda is safe for most people, there are certain individuals who should avoid using it. These include:

  • People with braces or permanent retainers, as the baking soda can get stuck and be difficult to remove.
  • People with sensitive mouths or gums, as the abrasive nature of baking soda can potentially cause irritation.
  • People with dry mouth, as baking soda can further dry out the mouth.

If you fall into any of these categories, it’s best to consult with a dentist or healthcare professional before using baking soda for tongue cleaning.


Cleaning your tongue is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. Using baking soda is an effective, affordable, and accessible method to keep your tongue clean and free from harmful bacteria. However, it’s important to use it responsibly and in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing. If used correctly, you can clean your tongue with baking soda like a pro and enjoy a fresher, healthier mouth.

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