Don’t Just Mask Your Mask Breath

Clean your tongue to treat bad breath at the source.

By Tend

As wearing masks becomes part of our new normal, so does the unwelcome aroma of “mask breath.” That’s your own bad breath trapped inside your mask.

“Masks are designed to keep things in,” says Dr. Schlenoff, Tend’s Head of Clinical Development. “They have layers and layers of fibers. So if your breath is bad, your mask will contain it.”

And if you wear a mask over and over, and it isn’t washable, it could start to take on that odor for good.

It’s a small price to pay for being safe. But it can still be “pretty gross,” says Dr. Schlenoff. We used to worry about other people smelling our bad breath. Now we’re our own victims.

There’s a solution for this. And it’s not mints, gums, sprays, strips, or any other breath fresheners. Those just “mask” the problem. You need to treat it at the source to actually get rid of it.

“Bad breath can come up through the gastrointestinal tract,” says Dr. Schlenoff. “It can come down through the nose. But most of the time it comes from your mouth. And it’s usually just a hygiene issue. The bacteria in your mouth smell because they weren’t cleaned out.”

The majority of those bacteria live on your tongue.

“It’s an ideal hiding place,” says Dr. Schlenoff. “Bacteria love it. It’s moist. It’s protected. It has an uneven surface. It’s almost the perfect environment for bacteria.”

Some people brush their tongues like they brush their teeth. “But it’s very difficult to brush your tongue properly,” says Dr. Schlenoff. “Toothbrush bristles are made of flexible nylon, and they give a lot. So they’re going to miss things.”

It’s better to use a tool designed specifically for tongues. That’s why we created the Tidy Tongue, a tongue cleaner with a rigid wiper that slides gunk off like a little zamboni.

You can test this for yourself. First, brush your tongue with a toothbrush and see how it looks. Then use the Tidy Tongue and see how much more icky white stuff comes off. That white stuff is plaque, the same bacteria you brush off your teeth. But on your tongue, there’s way more of it.

Dr. Schlenoff uses his Tidy Tongue at night. But you can use yours in the morning, or even twice per day. Whatever feels right for your routine. Tongue cleaning only takes a few seconds.

And once you start, you’ll be able to mask up and exhale freely.

Introducing the Tidy Tongue

When left to its own devices, your tongue becomes a home for bad-breath-causing plaque. Enter the Tidy Tongue, a stainless-steel tongue cleaner designed by our dentists.

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