Chances are, you know the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth each day. But did you know that tongue scraping also plays an important role in your at-home dental routine?
Tongue scraping helps to remove debris, bacteria, and dead cells, which can have a negative impact on your oral health.
It’s a quick and painless way to remove extra particles from your tongue. A tongue scraper is a small, slightly rounded tool made of plastic or metal. A quick search on Amazon will return numerous options under 10 dollars!
To perform tongue scraping, simply follow the steps below:
- Gently set the rounded end of the tongue scraper on the back of your tongue. If you’re concerned about gagging, start in the middle of your tongue and carefully work your way further back.
- Slowly pull the scraper forward to the tip of your tongue. Never move your scraper in the reverse direction. Be mindful, too, of how much pressure you apply; you don’t want to hurt your taste buds or cut your tongue.
- After each scrape, use water or a washcloth to remove debris from the scraper.
- Go over each area one to two times. Repeat until you’ve scrapped the full surface of your tongue.
- Wash the tongue scraper with warm water and soap. Store in a dry, clean spot.
The process only takes a minute or so. If you don’t want to add this extra step to your dental routine, remember that cleaning your tongue with a toothbrush is better than not cleaning at all!
Next, let’s discuss four benefits of tongue scraping.
1. It improves your sense of taste.
Research suggests that using a tongue scraper twice daily may enhance your sense of taste. Specifically, your tongue will be better able to identify sweet, salt, sour, and bitter flavors.
2. It improves bad breath!
Researchers discovered that using a tongue scraper twice a day for seven days in a row reduces the occurrence of Mutant streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth, both known to cause bad breath and tooth decay. In fact, tongue scraping is more effective than brushing when it comes to these odor-causing bacteria!
It’s important to note, though, that tongue scraping doesn’t offer extended benefits when it comes to better breath. For instance, using a tongue scraper in the morning won’t prevent you from developing bad breath as you eat and drink throughout the day. Rather, consistency is key to keep these bacteria away. If you’re worried about your breath, you may want to consider scraping after each snack or meal.
3. It improves the appearance of your tongue.
Excess build-up may cause your tongue to take on a white, coated appearance. Daily scraping can help remove it and keep it from developing again.
4. It improves overall health.
Removing excess bacteria in the mouth plays a key role in the prevention of cavities and gum disease. You may choose to clean your tongue with your toothbrush, but it’s not as effective as a tongue scraper. One study found that tongue scrapers removed 30 percent more volatile sulfur compounds on the tongue’s surface than a soft-bristled toothbrush.
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