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Benefits of Adding a Tongue Scraper to Your Oral Hygiene Routine

By Stephen Dowell, DDS on October 20, 2017


A tongue scraperAt Dowell Dental Group, Dr. Stephen C. Dowell, Dr. Byron Rossi, and Dr. Somonkul Tum provide a wide range of dental procedures to treat dental damage and improve oral health. Good oral hygiene habits are essential for maintaining oral health. While brushing and flossing help keep the teeth clean, they can leave the tongue feeling less than fresh. That's where tongue scrapers can help. Tongue scrapers are specifically designed for cleaning the tongue, making them a great addition to any oral hygiene routine. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of tongue scrapers in this overview from our Minerva, OH practice.

What's a Tongue Scraper?

It's common for people to use a toothbrush to clean their tongue, which is why some are surprised to learn about tongue scrapers. A tongue scraper, also called a tongue cleaner, is an oral hygiene tool used to scrape the tongue clean. Tongue scrapers are often made of plastic, but are also available in steel and copper, and can usually be found wherever toothbrushes and oral hygiene products are sold.

How to Use a Tongue Scraper

It's both fast and easy to use a tongue scraper. To enjoy the benefits of a tongue scraper, you only need to use it once a day, although there's no harm in using one every time you brush and floss. Most people who use tongue scrapers find using it in the morning helps reduce morning breath and helps keep their mouths feeling fresher throughout the day.

To use a tongue scraper, simply place the scraper against the back of your tongue and pull it across the length of your tongue. This will cause dead skin cells and food debris to collect on the tongue scraper. Rinse this debris off and scrape the tongue again, repeatedly rinsing and scraping until no more debris comes up.

The Benefits of Using a Tongue Scraper

Now that you know how to use a tongue scraper, consider adding a tongue scraper to your oral hygiene routine for such benefits as:

  • Helps reduce coated tongue: Coated tongue is a condition in which the papillae of the tongue, some of which are taste buds, become swollen or overgrown. This causes dead skin cells, food debris, and bacteria to become stuck and coat the tongue. A tongue scraper can help reduce the symptoms of coated tongue by removing debris surrounding the papillae.
  • Makes the mouth feel fresher: Food remnants, dead skin cells, and bacteria that collect on the tongue can leave a bad taste in the mouth, especially in the morning. Those who find that their mouth still doesn't feel clean after brushing can benefit from using a tongue scraper to remove debris and make the tongue feel fresh.
  • Reduces bad breath: By physically remove odorous food remnants, bacteria, and dead skin cells from the tongue, adding a tongue scraper when brushing and flossing can further reduce bad breath.
  • Cleans the tongue better than a toothbrush: Many people use their toothbrush to clean their tongue, but the flexible bristles of a toothbrush can leave behind a lot of debris on the tongue. Tongue scrapers provide enough resistance to more effectively clean the tongue than a toothbrush.
  • Can help improve taste: When the taste buds are covered by dead skin cells and other debris, it can interfere with a person's ability to taste. Some find that using a tongue scraper regularly to remove debris from the tongue helps improve their sense of taste.

Schedule a Consultation

For more tips to improve oral health, or to learn more about your treatment options, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with our practice today.

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