Do You Need to Brush the Roof of Your Mouth?

A woman brushes her teeth in front of a mirror.

Most of us (hopefully) know how to brush our teeth properly. You get the outside and inside of your teeth, gently clean your gums, and brush your tongue. But are we all missing something? Do you have to brush the roof of your mouth, too?

Good news—you haven’t been skipping a step. Brushing the roof of your mouth isn’t a requirement for good oral hygiene.

LifeSavvy reached out to Dr. Lior Tamir, expert cosmetic dentist in Silicon Valley, who explained there isn’t much of a need to brush the roof of our mouths.

“Due to gravity, food particles and plaque doesn’t really get stuck on the roof of the mouth and therefore doesn’t require regular cleaning or brushing,” said Tamir.

But what about those moments when you’ve eaten a tortilla chip the wrong way or had some particularly crusty ciabatta bread? The roof of your mouth can often feel like it’s got food particles and residue stuck on it from your meal.

According to Tamir, it’s another no.

“The tissue on the roof of the mouth is tough but will sometimes get injured. For example, sometimes when we eat crunchy foods such as tortilla chips or eat super hot pizza or coffee we may injure the roof of our mouths. Usually, that will clear up within a few days and doesn’t require brushing,” said Tamir.

If you want to clean the roof of your mouth, Tamir suggested doing so with warm salt water rinses until any wound is healed. For the most part, though, there is no need to brush the roof of your mouth.

If you’ve been having some oral hygiene anxiety induced by an upcoming dental visit, don’t worry if you haven’t been brushing the roof of your mouth. If you haven’t been brushing your tongue, though, you might want to change that.

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