Updated: Aug 20, 2022
Oral hygiene is so important. Oil pulling, flossing your teeth, brushing your teeth, and now tongue scraping? It seems like our oral demands are never-ending. Is tongue scraping really important, how do you do it properly, and what's the best tongue scraper to use?
If you read my article The Truth About Mainstream Mouthwash, you probably already question oral hygiene options. The amount of toxins brimming in our everyday hygiene products is overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. This article focuses on the facts and allows you to make an informed decision about your oral care routine.
Benefits of Tongue Scraping
For starters, what is tongue scraping? Tongue scraping helps remove dead cells, bacteria, and debris built up on the tongue by using a unique, slightly rounded tool made from plastic or metal to improve oral health (1).
Removes Bacteria, Debris & Dead Cells
The primary purpose of tongue scraping is to remove bacteria, debris, and dead cells from the tongue's surface. Research has found that tongue scraping twice a day reduced the overall incidence of Mutans Streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth (2). Both of these bacterias are known to cause bad breath and dental decay.
Reduces Bad Breath
Tongue scraping does not replace flossing or brushing of the teeth but it does clean the tongue better than the traditional toothbrush. For instance, research shows that tongue scraping was more effective at removing odor-causing bacteria than an ordinary toothbrush (3).
Reduces The Risk of Cavities, Gingivitis & Mouth Ulcers
Removing the bacteria from the tongue with a tongue scraper is key to preventing cavities, gingivitis, and even mouth ulcers. Scraping daily will stop the excess buildup of the bacteria that cause these conditions and occurrences. One study found cleaning the tongue with a tongue scraper was more effective in cleaning the plaque and bacteria that cause cavities (4).
Improves The Appearance of Your Tongue
That white coating we notice on our tongue upon waking up in the morning; that's a buildup of debris, dead cells, and bacteria.. That white coating is also responsible for causing bad breath. Tongue scraping can quickly and effectively remove those not-so-pretty particles from the surface of your tongue (5).
Improves Your Sense of Taste
Research suggests that using a tongue scraper twice a day can improve your sense of taste and allows for better distinguishment between bitter, sweet, sour, and salty flavors (6). The improvement of flavor characterizing is a result of eliminating the tongue coating and bacteria that sits on the tongue. That coating covers the tiny bumps called papillae, which include the taste buds. Eliminating the buildup will result in tasting the full flavor of foods (7).
Improves Overall Health
Improving your oral health improves overall health. For instance, poor oral health is common for those with chronic kidney disease and increases their risk of morbidity and mortality (8). One study also found that bad oral hygiene may be directly associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease (9).
Tongue Scraper Recommendations
Basic Concepts Stainless Steel Tongue Scrapers feature smooth stainless steel metal for ultimate strength. Each extra-wide-headed tongue cleaner for adults allows you to maximize your metal tongue scrapers' cleaning power. Unlike cheap plastic tongue scraper tools, these stainless steel tongue scrapers will give you the cleanest tongue (and freshest breath) time and time again. Use your new tongue scrapers every day with swiftness and ease.
MasterMedi Stainless Steel Tongue Scrapers are 100% medical grade tongue cleaners for adults and kids to keep you plaque-free, improving taste by sprucing up your taste buds and helping you enjoy every last bite. The sturdy, non-toxic material is not naturally susceptible to rust or mold, making it super durable and easy to clean - just throw it in a dishwasher or opt for a gentle hand wash.
THINKPRICE BPA-Free Plastic Tongue Scrapers are made of high-quality environmental material, 100% BPA-free, durable, safe, healthy, and with no smell. This tongue scraper helps you maintain a cleaner tongue daily, contributing to overall better dental hygiene. They help remove the gunk from your tongue that might have inhabited it. They leave your breath feeling fresh so that you’re ready to face your daily activities.
How To Use a Tongue Scraper
Start by ordering a tongue scraper.
When you're ready to use your tongue scraper, preferably twice a day, after flossing and brushing your teeth, make sure you are in front of a mirror and have decent lighting to see your entire tongue.
In front of a mirror, open your mouth as wide as possible while remaining comfortable and sticking your tongue out. Do not point your tongue.
With your tongue sticking out, pick up your tongue scraper, holding it by the handle, and run it under warm water.
After you've run your tongue scraper under warm water, place it as far back on your tongue as possible without activating your gag reflex.
Begin scraping by gently applying pressure to the tongue scraper. In one slow-motion, pull the scraper from the back of your tongue to the tip of your tongue.
Repeat the scraping process at least four times, and be sure to never start from the tip of the tongue and never glide the tongue scraper backward. Be sure to rinse the tongue scraper between each stroke to avoid putting the debris, dead cells, and bacteria back on your tongue.
When you're done using the tongue scraper, be sure to rinse and clean the tongue scraper before storing it away.
⚠️ These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything.