10 Facts About Tongues You Didn’t Know

Testing your friends with silly rhymes known as tongue twisters, licking a lollipop, or making faces at your brother or sister may make you think your tongue is all about fun and games. But as a pediatric dentist, we know that the tongue is actually a super cool muscle with a lot of hidden talents, abilities, and characteristics. Here are ten facts about tongues that you probably didn’t know:

  1. Typically four inches in length, your tongue is about the same size as your average Florida lizard.

  2. Your tongue is made up of eight different muscles that allow you to tackle those tongue twisters.

  3. The tongue knows five different tastes: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and savory.

  4. You have anywhere from 3,000 – 10,000 taste buds.

  5. Your mom might get mad if you stick your tongue out, but in Tibet it’s a common greeting.

  6. If your dog’s tongue is always hanging out of its mouth, it’s because when dogs exercise, their tongues increase in size to help with blood flow.

  7. Girls rule, boys drool…it may actually be true since boys usually have longer tongues than girls.

  8. The blue whale’s tongue weighs 2.7 tons- about as much as a giraffe.

  9. Your tongue can say over 90 words in a minute.

  10. You can’t taste your food until saliva has moistened it. Since salt dissolves quickly in moisture, you’ll typically taste salty things first.

This small little organ helps us to talk, taste, digest, and eat. It’s the only muscle in the body that functions without help from your skeleton and is often considered the strongest (but most sensitive) muscle in the body. Much like a fingerprint, your tongue is unique to you. When brushing, it’s important to keep your tongue clean to prevent bad breath and bacteria in your mouth. As your Melbourne pediatric dentist, we love healthy smiles- that includes your tongue too!

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