To keep the tongue clean, a toothbrush can be employed to scrub the surface of the tongue. This can be performed after brushing the teeth. Accordingly, brushing the tongue becomes the fifth component added to cleaning the four quadrants of the mouth. Brushing the tongue should occur from the back to the front in order to remove plaque and inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Besides using a toothbrush to clean the tongue, a special device can be used to clean the surface more effectively. This device is commonly marketed as a "tongue scrapper" and is more adept at cleaning the uneven and fleshy surface of the tongue as compared to the toothbrush which is designed to clean the smooth and hard surface of teeth.
Focusing on cleaning the tongue in addition to cleaning the teeth raises the standard of oral care as cleaning the tongue is not heavily emphasized. Incorporating the practice of cleaning the tongue not only increases the level of oral hygiene but also reduces the presence of bad breath in the mouth.