At Southwind Dental Care, we believe general dentistry treatments, including routine care and good oral hygiene habits, are the foundation of a healthy smile
. One way to enhance oral hygiene is to add a tongue scraper to your daily routine. A tongue scraper is a tool that makes it easy to remove built up debris from the tongue for enhanced oral health and freshness. If your breath doesn't feel fresh even after brushing, flossing, or rinsing with mouthwash, you may benefit from adding a tongue scraper to your oral hygiene routine. Discover more of the benefits of tongue scrapers in this overview from Memphis, TN dentist Timothy S. Messer.
What Is a Tongue Scraper?
A tongue scraper is precisely what it sounds like, a tool to scrape the tongue. Tongue scrapers may be made of plastic, steel, or copper and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Using a tongue scraper on a regular basis can help enhance oral health and make the mouth feel fresher.
The Benefits of Tongue Scrapers
There are many benefits to adding a tongue scraper to your daily oral hygiene routine. Some of the many benefits include:
- Helps alleviate coated tongue: A coated tongue refers to a condition in which dead skin cells and food debris become stuck within the nodules, or papillae, of the tongue. This can make the mouth feel less than fresh and the tongue unclean even after brushing. Using a tongue scraper everyday can help alleviate and prevent coated tongue by removing debris stuck within the papillae.
- Improves breath and freshness: Even those who do not suffer from coated tongue can still have food debris, dead skin cells, and bacteria collect on the surface of the tongue, which can cause bad breath and leave a bad taste in the mouth. Tongue scrapers help to physically remove dead skin cells, bacteria, and food debris from the tongue, helping the mouth feel fresher.
- Better at cleaning the tongue than a toothbrush: Tongue scrapers are more effective at cleaning the tongue than a toothbrush alone. This is because the soft bristles of a toothbrush do not provide enough resistance to remove debris stuck within the papillae of the tongue.
- May improve sense of taste: With regular use of a tongue scraper, some people find that their sense of taste improves. By removing debris that coats the tongue and taste buds, it may be possible to experience an improved ability to taste foods and different flavors.
How to Add a Tongue Scraper to Your Routine
Including a tongue scraper when you brush and floss your teeth can provide an added boost of freshness to your daily oral hygiene routine. It's easy to use a tongue scraper whenever you brush and floss your teeth. Tongue scrapers may be used before or after brushing. However, most people prefer to start with their tongue scraper.
To use a tongue scraper simply place the flat portion of the scraper at the back of the tongue. Pull the scraper forward to the tip of the tongue. This should pull plaque, bacteria, dead skin cells, and other debris from the tongue. Rinse this debris off the scraper and repeat the process until the scraper comes up clean.
Discover More Ways to Enhance Your Oral Health
For more tips to improve oral health, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Messer today.