If you took a survey of your friends and family and asked them what key tools they needed to clean their mouth every day, chances are most would say a toothbrush, floss, and maybe some mouthwash. While this answer is far from incorrect, many people don’t always think about the other large surface area in their mouths: their tongue! While, thankfully, your tongue won’t be getting cavities any time soon, it is a hotbed for bacteria and can be a root cause of bad breath and other oral ailments! How do I clean my tongue, you ask? Simple! Incorporate a tongue scraper into your daily oral hygiene routine!
What is a tongue scraper?
Tongue scrapers are small, slightly rounded metal or plastic devices that are used to, you guessed it, scrape off your tongue. They help to remove debris and bacteria from the surface of your tongue and can serve to freshen breath. While tongue scraping isn’t a replacement for brushing and flossing, incorporating one can have many benefits that can improve your overall oral health!
How can tongue scraping improve my life?
- Boost your health: Bacteria are the source of many of your oral health woes and cutting down on the number of bacteria in your mouth will help you in your battle against tooth decay and other oral ailments. In fact, a study published in 2005 found that tongue scraping twice a day for a week cut down on the types of bacteria known to cause tooth decay and bad breath.
- Banish bad breath: One of the most immediate benefits of scraping your tongue is the improved scent of your breath. Odor causing bacteria can cling to the pockets of your tongue better than they can on the smooth surfaces of your teeth, so it’s important to get in there and remove the buildup if you want to improve the smell of your mouth. Additionally, food particles can linger on your tongue long after eating and getting rid of that bit of garlic or onion can go a long way in freshening things up.
- Taste the difference: There is limited research that suggests that those who use a tongue scraper twice a day have an improved sense of taste compared to those who don’t scrape at all! Adding another step to your regimen may just make your next meal more enjoyable.
- Looks aren’t everything, but they’re something: Neglecting your tongue can cause a film of undesirable particles to accumulate on your tongue, giving it a white, cloudy appearance. Daily scraping will take care of this issue and have your tongue back to its natural pink in no time!
While tongue scraping with never be a replacement for brushing your teeth, it’s a step you can add into your daily routine to help cut down on bacteria and keep your breath fresh and clean! It’s worth noting that, while bad breath is absolutely normal, a sudden increase in the potency of your breath may indicate a larger issue and should be evaluated by your dentist.
If you have questions about breath, tongue scraping, or to simply schedule a routine appointment, give us a call at Steger Smiles today!