For those with oral health problems, restorative dentistry treatments can improve oral health and restore the appearance of the smile. However, preventing oral health problems to begin with is best. Brushing and flossing is key to protecting the teeth and gums, but what about the tongue?
The tongue can become coated in bacteria, food remnants, and dead skin cells, causing bad breath and making the mouth feel less than fresh, even after brushing. A tongue scraper can be an excellent addition to any oral hygiene routine. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of a tongue scraper in this blog post from Charlotte, NC dentists John M. Pinnix and George A. Betancourt.
The Benefits of Tongue Scrapers
A tongue scraper is a simple oral hygiene tool used to scrape the tongue clean. Made of plastic, steel, or copper, tongue scrapers come in different shapes and sizes and are often found in stores that sell toothbrushes and oral hygiene products.
Tongue scrapers offer many benefits and are easy to use, making them a great addition to any oral hygiene routine. Some benefits to consider include:
- Boosts freshness and reduces bad breath: The bumpy taste buds on the tongue can allow food debris, dead skin cells, and bacteria to buildup on the tongue, causing a less than fresh feeling as well as bad breath. Tongue scrapers help improve breath and leave the mouth feeling fresher by scraping bacteria, dead skin cells, and food remnants from the tongue.
- Alleviates coated tongue: Coated tongue, also called white tongue, is a condition in which the nodules of the tongue, called the papillae, swell or overgrow, causing bacteria, dead skin cells, and food debris to become stuck within the papillae. Tongue scrapers can remove food remnants, bacteria, and dead skin cells lodged between the papillae.
- Cleans the tongue more effectively than a toothbrush: Toothbrushes are designed to clean the teeth, not the tongue. Soft toothbrush bristles are ideal for removing plaque from the teeth but are generally not firm enough to effectively clean the tongue. Tongue scrapers provide more resistance, helping to remove more debris from the tongue than brushing alone for a fresher, cleaner mouth.
- May enhance ability to taste: For some, regularly using a tongue scraper can improve the ability to taste. This may be because removing debris from the tongue helps expose the taste buds.
Incorporating a Tongue Scraper into Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Adding a tongue scraper to your oral hygiene routine is an easy way to improve oral health, reduce bad breath, and enjoy a fresher feeling mouth. Fortunately, using a tongue scraper is fast and simple.
While you may choose to use your tongue scraper every time you brush and floss, most people find that using a tongue scraper once in the morning is sufficient. Whatever time of day you choose, all you have to do is place the scraper against the back of the tongue and drag it forward and across the tip of the tongue. Rinse any debris off the tongue scraper and repeat until the scraper comes up clean and free of debris.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information about tongue scrapers or other ways to improve oral hygiene, we invite you to schedule a consultation today.