young woman covering her mouth, embarrassed of her bad breathAttending regular dental examinations and cleanings is a crucial part of your dental health. However, it is also important to do your part at home between visits. At Metropolitan Dental Care, our team of doctors is always happy to offer tips, tricks, and advice about how to maintain healthy teeth and gums. If you are suffering from chronic bad breath in Lone Tree, tongue scraping may be a beneficial practice to add to your at-home hygiene routine. Today, we will explore what tongue scraping is, and how it can help you eliminate bad breath for optimal hygiene.

What is a Tongue Scraper?

Tongue scrapers are special instruments used to clean the tongue. Sometimes referred to as tongue cleaners, these devices can be found in any oral hygiene aisle at your local pharmacy or grocery store. It is an incredibly simple product intended for a simple purpose: to remove bacteria from the surface of the tongue. This practice has been around for centuries and can actually be traced back to ancient India.

How Do I Use a Tongue Scraper?

To use a tongue scraper, simply place the device on the back of your tongue, and gently bring it forward across the surface. This can effectively remove debris such as food particles and dead skin cells, not to mention oral bacteria. Simply repeat the process until the entire tongue has been cleaned.

Tongue Scraping Creates a Cleaner Oral Environment

For proper oral hygiene, one should brush at least twice a day and floss at least once per day. These activities physically remove the plaque deposits, debris, and bacteria around and between the teeth. But what about the tongue? It is like a giant sponge that bacteria can cling to. Tongue scraping ensures you are removing as much bacteria as possible for a cleaner, healthier mouth.

Tongue Scraping vs Tongue Brushing

Many patients who are aware of bacteria on the tongue will brush it with their toothbrush. This is effective, as well. However, it can be uncomfortable. For many people, brushing the tongue can be too abrasive and can trigger a gag reflex. Tongue scrapers are much gentler than toothbrushes and are generally more comfortable to use.

Fighting Bad Breath with a Tongue Scraper

One of the primary causes of bad breath is oral bacteria. When the bacteria in your mouth feed on food particles, halitosis can be exacerbated by the dead skin cells on the tongue. Scraping the tongue removes all of these irritants and improves bad breath.

Can Tongue Scraping Improve the Taste of Food?

Believe it or not, many patients find that the taste of food improves significantly when they routinely scrape their tongue. This is because the food particles, bacteria, and debris can negatively interfere with the way your food tastes. When you use a tongue scraper, you will enjoy purer and more uncontaminated flavors.

How Often is Tongue Scraping Recommended?

Generally, we recommend using a tongue scraper at least twice a day: once in the morning, and once before bed. Tongue scraping should be performed after you have already brushed and flossed. It is also a good idea to use an antibacterial mouthwash after scraping to get the most benefit out of your hygiene routine.

Learn More about Oral Hygiene Recommendation

If you are looking to improve your bad breath or are searching for ways to improve your hygiene routine at home, schedule a visit with a Lone Tree dentist. You can call our office at (303) 534-2626 or contact us online anytime.