The tongue is made up of tiny finger-like projections, called papillae. Brushing the tongue helps to remove the plaque and bacteria that hide in these papillae. Cleaning the tongue helps to reduce bad breath and prevents plaque build up on the teeth. Using your toothbrush, brush your tongue from back to front with or without toothpaste. If you find this causes a gag reflex, try using a tongue scraper, which can be more comfortable.