Enhance Your Oral Hygiene Routine with a Tongue Scraper
By Andrew Mortensen, DDS on June 01, 2017
When it comes to oral hygiene, the tongue is often neglected. This can cause the mouth to feel less than fresh and even allow bacteria, food debris, and dead skin cells to coat the tongue. While restorative dentistry treatments can target dental problems that leave the mouth feeling unhealthy, tongue scrapers can help target buildup on the tongue to improve oral health and freshness. Find out more about enhancing your oral hygiene routine as we take a closer look at the benefits of tongue scrapers in this overview from Fountain Valley, CA dentist Andrew G. Mortensen.
What Is a Tongue Scraper?
A tongue scraper is just what the name sounds like, a simple oral hygiene tool used to scrape away food debris, dead skin cells, and bacteria from the tongue. Tongue scrapers may be made of plastic, steel, or copper, and they come in different sizes and shapes.
How to Use a Tongue Scraper
Tongue scrapers are easy to use, and can greatly improve your daily oral hygiene routine. To use a tongue scraper, simply glide the tongue scraper across the tongue from back to front. With each pull, rinse any debris that has been pulled off of the tongue from the scraper by running it under water. Continue scraping back to front across the surface of the tongue until no more debris is pulled off of the tongue.
What Are the Benefits of Tongue Scrapers?
Tongue scrapers offer many benefits, especially to those who find their mouth feels less than fresh even after brushing and flossing. Here are just a few benefits that may convince you to add a tongue scraper to your oral hygiene routine.
Helps Alleviate a Coated Tongue
Those who have a coated tongue may benefit from tongue scraping. Coated tongue is a condition in which bacteria, dead skin cells, and food debris become trapped within the small nodules on the tongue. Often, brushing the tongue is not sufficient in removing this trapped debris. Tongue scrapers are effective at removing debris, helping to alleviate coated tongues.
Reduces Bad Breath
Bacteria and food debris can produce an odor and contribute to bad breath. Tongue scrapers allow for the physical removal of odorous bacteria and food debris that brushing alone often misses, helping to reduce bad breath.
Cleans the Tongue Better than a Toothbrush
The soft bristles of a toothbrush can't always get rid of all the food debris, dead skin cells, or odorous bacteria lurking on the tongue. Tongue scrapers provide enough resistance to physically remove debris from the tongue, producing a cleaner mouth.
May Help Improve the Ability to Taste Food
When dead skin cells and food remnants coat the tongue, they also cover the taste buds so it stands to reason that by scraping away these old skin cells and food remnants, tongue scrapers may help improve the sense of taste.
Learn More about Enhancing Your Smile
Tongue scrapers are just one way to easily enhance your smile and improve oral health. To learn more about other dental treatments or oral hygiene tips, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Mortensen today.
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“I am proud to have served patients in our community. Through continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to offer you and your family the high level of care you're looking for.” Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S.