The team at our Brookfield general dentistry center believes that preventative care is a key part of total dental wellness. When patients practice proper oral hygiene at home, that usually translates into fewer cavities and a lower risk of gum disease.
While brushing and flossing are a given for good at-home dental care, we get asked a lot about the use of tongue scrapers. Are they worth it? Are they helpful? Let's cover some basics about tongue scrapers right now.
What Is a Tongue Scraper?
A tongue scraper is just what it sounds like. It's a simple dental instrument that is used to clean the tongue by scraping unwanted matter from it, such as food particles, dead cells, and oral bacteria that naturally resides in the mouth.
Tongue scrapers date back to the ancient world, and were a common part of the oral hygiene practices in India, Africa, South America, and the Arab world. Today, you can pick up a whole variety of tongue scrapers at your local pharmacy. Using a tongue scraper can have a number of benefits that are worth noting. After reading below, you may want to consider getting a tongue scraper for yourself.
Greater Comfort When Cleaning Your Tongue
If you brush your tongue, you know that this can be occasionally uncomfortable. Gagging, choking, and excessive salivation are all common issues when brushing your tongue. This is not an issue with a tongue scraper. All you need to do is place the scraper at the back of the tongue and pull it forward. Repeat until the full surface of the tongue is covered and cleaned.
Helps Fight Bad Breath
When you remove oral bacteria and food particles from your tongue, you can greatly reduce the severity of bad breath. This makes sense since you are removing matter from your mouth that may not have been cleaned away otherwise.
Cleans Your Mouth Thoroughly
Piggybacking on the previous point, using a tongue scraper can help you get your mouth even cleaner than it usually is. Brushing, flossing, scraping your tongue, and using mouthwash can help eliminate the vast majority of food particles and unwanted bacteria in your mouth. This means the freshest and healthiest smile possible.
Can Potentially Improve the Taste of Food
This is one benefit you may not have expected but makes total sense. By removing all of the dead cells and food particles from your tongue, you can potentially improve your sense of taste. This is an excellent thing if you're a foodie, a wine lover, or into craft beer. Now your palate can really appreciate the complex flavors and the full depth of taste in what you're eating.
How Often Should I Scrape My Tongue?
Tongue scraping should be made part of your regular oral hygiene routine. Ideally, you'll want to scrape your tongue at least twice a day, usually after you've brushed your teeth. You may want to consider brushing your tongue after every meal. For the freshest and cleanest mouth possible, consider brushing, flossing, and using a tongue scraper after each meal.
Learn More About Tongue Scrapers
For more information about improving your oral hygiene and enhancing your dental health, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.