Reviewed by Dr. Gary Morris, DDS

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Tongue scrapers may be an unfamiliar concept for many, but they have been used for centuries. They are a simple yet highly effective tool that can significantly improve your dental hygiene routine.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what a tongue scraper is, how it can benefit you, and how to use it. Let’s get started!

What are Tongue Scrapers?

A tongue scraper is a small, u-shaped device designed to remove bacteria, food particles, and dead cells from the papillae, the tiny little bumps on your tongue. Studies show that the tongue harbors at least 90% of the bacteria that cause bad breath.

The tongue scraper typically has a flat head with a curved edge that you gently drag across your tongue to scrape off any buildup. Some tongue scrapers may have handles for easier holding and maneuvering.

Tongue cleaners come in a variety of materials, but the most widely used are plastic and metal. The most common type of metal tongue scraper is stainless steel, the most durable option. Plastic tongue scrapers are lightweight and less expensive but may not last as long.

The History of Tongue Scraping

Tongue scraping has been a part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is believed to help remove toxins and improve overall health. In ancient China and India, gold or silver tongue scrapers were commonly used as a status symbol among the elite.

Tongue scraping has recently gained popularity in Western cultures due to its potential health benefits.

Key Takeaway

A tongue scraper is a simple yet effective tool designed to clean the tongue, reduce bacteria, enhance taste, and improve oral health. It’s a valuable addition to your daily oral hygiene routine. Visit Morris Dental Solutions for guidance on improving your oral health.

The Benefits of Tongue Scraping

Introducing a tongue scraper to your daily oral hygiene routine can bring about numerous benefits:

  1. Reduce bad breath: Tongue scrapers can help reduce bad breath by eliminating the buildup of bacteria and food particles that produce foul-smelling odors. A study found that tongue scraping reduced bad breath by 75% compared to toothbrushing alone.
  2. Improve appearance: Healthy tongues have a nice pink color to them. Removing the white coating that can accumulate on your tongue can improve the overall appearance of your tongue and your mouth.
  3. Improve oral health: Tongue scraping removes harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
  4. Improve overall health: Having a clean tongue means you’re not swallowing all that bad bacteria. This reduces the overall bacteria load inside your body, so your immune system will have fewer toxins to fight off.
  5. Enhance your sense of taste: Clearing away the buildup of bacteria and dead cells can expose your taste buds. When you remove the buildup across your tongue, your palate will become more sensitive to all the different flavors, making eating more enjoyable.

How to Use a Tongue Scraper

If you use a tongue scraper the wrong way, it can be ineffective or even hurt. Here are the steps to follow for proper tongue scraping:

  1. Stick your tongue out and hold onto the scraper with both hands.
  2. Place the scraper as far back on your tongue as you comfortably can without hitting your gag reflex.
  3. Gently pull the scraper forward toward the tip of your tongue, applying gentle pressure to remove any buildup.
  4. Repeat 2-3 times until you feel your entire tongue is clean. Rinse the scraper between each pass.
  5. Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to remove any loosened debris and bacteria.
  6. Clean the tongue scraper with warm water and soap after each use, then dry it off before storing it in a clean, dry place.

Can I Damage My Tastebuds With a Tongue Scraper?

You can damage your taste buds with a tongue scraper, but it’s highly unlikely if used correctly. If you use excessive force, you could harm the sensitive tissue of your tongue, including your taste buds.

However, if you follow the correct scraping technique and apply gentle pressure, you should be able to safely and effectively clean your tongue without causing any harm.

Your Buffalo Grove Dentist

Bolster your oral hygiene routine with a tongue scraper and experience the benefits firsthand. Consistent, daily tongue scraping, combined with brushing, flossing, and maintaining a healthy diet, can significantly improve your oral health and overall well-being.

Experience the superior quality of dental care at Morris Dental Solutions. Our experienced dentists are dedicated to helping you maintain your oral health. Whether you need preventive care, advanced restorative work, or cosmetic dentistry, we have the skills and expertise to meet your needs.

If you have questions about tongue scraping or any other oral health concerns, visit Morris Dental Solutions in Buffalo Grove, IL. Our team of experienced dentists can provide you with the best dental care and guidance for a healthy smile.

Call us at (847) 215-1511 or complete the online booking form. Discover why we are the best dentist in Buffalo Grove, IL!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use a tongue scraper before or after brushing?

Brush your teeth first. This will help remove any remaining bacteria or buildup on the tongue that may have been loosened from brushing. Then, follow up with a tongue scraper to clean your tongue for maximum effectiveness.

How often should I replace my tongue scraper?

We recommend you replace your tongue scraper every 3-4 months, just like you would with a toothbrush. This will ensure that it remains effective and hygienic for daily use. If you notice any signs of wear or damage on your tongue scraper, it’s best to replace it sooner.

Should I scrape my tongue before or after mouthwash?

Use your tongue scraper before using mouthwash. This allows the mouthwash to reach and clean the newly exposed surfaces on your tongue, providing maximum fresh breath benefits.

How to disinfect a tongue scraper?

To disinfect your tongue scraper:

Start by rinsing it with hot water to remove debris.
Soak it in equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide for 5-10 minutes. You can also use diluted mouthwash or white vinegar instead of hydrogen peroxide.
Rinse again with hot water and dry before storing.

If you are searching for a ‘dentist near me,’ contact Morris Dental Solutions.

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