What's The Point Of Scraping Your Tongue?

Tongue scrapers are affordable dental tools that can effectively treat certain problems like bad breath and subtly enhance quality of life when used on a regular basis. Knowing what a tongue scraper can do can help you decide whether or not a tongue scraper is the kind of dental cleaning tool you'd like to keep on hand in your home.

What is a tongue scraper?

A tongue scraper is a plastic or stainless steel tool, usually bent in the shape of a U. Tongue scrapers are used to remove the dead skin and the coating of bacteria from the tongue's outer layer.

How is a tongue scraper used?

The tongue scraper is placed as far back on the tongue as it can be placed without causing discomfort. Then the tongue scraper is depressed into the surface of the tongue and pulled down and forward to the front of the tongue. This is done several times, and the tongue scraper is rinsed under warm water after each scrape to remove the bacteria.

What's the point of scraping your tongue?

Scraping the tongue provides many benefits, some of which include:

  • Bacteria removal. Tongue scrapers remove bacteria from the tongue's outer surface. Used in conjunction with tooth brushing, tongue scraping is a good way to reduce the presence of bacteria in the mouth and keep the inside of the mouth clean.
  • Taste enhancement. Tongue scrapers are believed to enhance flavors by removing the coating on the tongue and exposing the taste buds more fully to food flavors.
  • Breath freshening. Tongue scrapers remove volatile sulfur compounds from the tongue. Volatile sulfur compounds, known as VSCs, are a major cause of bad breath. Removing VSCs from the tongue can freshen the breath.

Isn't brushing the tongue just as effective as scraping?

The tongue is a textured, pitted surface that easily hides and harbors bacteria in the mouth. While brushing your tongue can help with bacterial removal, tongue scrapers flatten the surface of the tongue as they scrape. This allows tongue scrapers to effectively remove bacteria that could be missed during a brushing session.

For more information about how you could benefit from use of a tongue scraper, speak with a local resource like Bishop Michael R DMD & Associates during your next dental visit. Tongue scrapers used in conjunction with procedures like tooth brushing and visiting the dentist can help you keep your mouth cleaner.