Many people have heard about tongue scrapers and wondered if they’re really a good choice to add to their oral hygiene routine. The answer — at least for the great majority of people today — is that yes, a tongue scraper can be a great addition. You only need to use a tongue scraper once a day — usually when you wake up or right before you go to bed — to reap the benefits of this tiny but effective dental care tool. This addition to your routine will take just a couple of extra minutes and it’s well worth your time. Here’s what you need to know about tongue scraper use.
Why is a Tongue Scraper Needed?
A tongue scraper is important for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is fresh breath. Your tongue collects a countless number of bacteria, and regular teeth brushing doesn’t do anything to get rid of that particular bacteria. The bacteria on your tongue create sulfur compounds that can generate chronic halitosis (bad breath). Those tongue bacteria can also be a cause of gum disease and other health problems throughout your whole body.
While many people assume that they’re doing enough to deal with tongue bacteria by gently brushing their tongue, that’s actually not the case. A toothbrush is specially designed to remove bacteria and debris from your teeth — a smooth surface quite unlike the tongue. This means that an ordinary toothbrush just isn’t that efficient at cleaning the tongue well. In short, a tongue scraper can do the same job of tongue cleaning twice as well as an ordinary toothbrush can.
Proper Use of a Tongue Scraper
Using a tongue scraper regularly is a great choice if you want to keep your mouth in top shape while avoiding bad breath. However, if you’re not accustomed to using it yet you might have some questions about proper technique. Here are a few guidelines to help.
- Always start from the back of your mouth and scrape towards the front of your mouth, using smooth motions and a light touch. Tongue scraping doesn’t need to hurt or feel uncomfortable. You might have to get used to the sensation, but this won’t take long at all.
- Be sure that you cover the whole tongue when scraping. Don’t forget the sides! Some people tend to focus in on the middle of the tongue and neglect the rest, but all areas need to be scraped for optimal bacteria removal.
- After tongue scraping is complete, rinse your mouth out thoroughly with water (and mouthwash if desired.)
- Don’t forget to clean the tongue scraper after each use. Simply running it carefully under warm water should remove lingering bacteria or food particles.
It might take a little time to grow accustomed to the sensation of using a tongue scraper, but don’t be discouraged by this. When a tongue scraper is used correctly, it becomes second nature. In fact, many people experience such great results quickly enough that they feel extra motivated to continue with their new tongue scraping routine.
You may notice almost right away that your breath feels fresher and cleaner than it ever has before. Soon, you may start to look forward to your daily tongue scraping as a time to get rid of all the tongue bacteria that was previously dragging you (and your breath) down.
At Artistic Touch Dentistry, patients in the Melbourne, Florida area can get the comprehensive dental care they need. Patients of all ages are welcome. Preventative dentistry, general dentistry like routine cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and many other types of care are available. Our dental care team is happy to help you achieve excellent oral health — and we’re here to help you maintain your smile for your entire lifetime. Contact the Artistic Touch Dentistry team today to schedule an appointment.