Four Benefits of Tongue Scrapers

Benefits of Tongue Scrapers - Woodinville, WA

Mar 23, 2017 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: General Dentistry Restorative Dentistry

Benefits of Tongue ScrapersYou already know how critical brushing and flossing are to your oral health. If you suffer from chronic halitosis, or bad breath, there are steps you can take to freshen your breath. Tongue scraping eliminates much of the bacteria that accumulates on the tongue, causing bad breath. At Signature Smiles, our restorative dentistry practice in Woodinville, WA, we explain the benefits of tongue scrapers to all our patients, especially those complaining of bad breath.

Benefits of Tongue Scrapers

If you have never heard of tongue scraping, you may be thinking the practice sounds painful, but it’s not. This simple practice is a great supplement to any oral hygiene regimen; it involves scraping the tongue from back to front multiple times. Tongue scrapers come in plastic and metal models and are relatively inexpensive. We recommend patients choose models that can be sterilized easily and won’t promote the growth of mold.

If you are interested in tongue scraping, here are four benefits of the practice:

  • Eliminate Bad Breath: The American Dental Association (ADA) estimates that more than 50 percent of Americans suffer from halitosis. A recent study showed that the primary cause of bad breath is the accumulation of bacteria on the tongue. By removing bacteria, you can significantly improve your breath and reduce your need for chewing gum and mints.
  • Improve Oral Health: Much of the bacteria responsible for the plaque that forms on our teeth and gums thrive in the crevices of our tongues. When we fail to remove bacteria, we have a greater risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
  • Enhance Taste Buds: Over time, the accumulation of bacteria on your tongue clogs your taste buds. This not only affects how foods taste, but it can also impact your perception of how satisfying those foods are. This can lead to overeating, especially when it comes to sweets. Tongue scraping unclogs the taste buds so food tastes better and may even seem more satisfying, so you don’t overindulge.
  • Improve Digestion: Believe it or not, your clogged taste buds may be disrupting your digestion. Additionally, those toxins on your tongue may get digested with the foods you eat. This can cause numerous complications, both for your digestive health and your health overall. Tongue scraping will improve your digestion and may improve your overall health, too.

It is important to note that a number of modern toothbrushes come with “tongue scrapers” on the back of the brush head. While this certainly won’t hurt you, it does not provide the benefits of using a true tongue scraper. The u-shaped tool is designed to collect the build-up from your tongue, which you then rinse before going back for another pass. When using toothbrush scrapers, most patients simply move it back and forth, which just redistributes the bacteria.

Learn More Ways to Improve Your Oral Health

Tongue scraping is just one of the many ways you can protect your oral (and overall) health. For additional oral health care tips, contact our dental practice to speak with a knowledgeable member of our team.

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