Poor oral hygiene, certain foods, and tooth decay can all cause bad breath. Treating tooth decay with restorative dentistry can help reduce bad breath and improve oral health. Even after treatment, bad breath may persist, despite proper brushing and flossing. Tongue scrapers can help. Learn how the benefits of tongue scraping can boost your oral hygiene routine in this overview from Lake Jackson, TX dentists Brian Bell and Justin Crocker.
What Is a Tongue Scraper?
Tongue scrapers are tools used to clean the tongue and help freshen breath. Tongue scrapers are made in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, such as steel, plastic, and copper. Tongue scrapers are available over-the-counter and may be found in the oral hygiene section of most drugstores or grocery stores.
How to Use a Tongue Scraper
Tongue scrapers are easy to use, making them the ideal addition to any oral hygiene routine. Tongue scraping can be done during your nightly or morning oral hygiene routine. To use a tongue scraper, begin by placing the scraper at the back of the tongue and gently pulling forward across the full length of the tongue. The tongue should be scraped repeatedly until no debris is on the scraper. In addition, the tongue scraper should be rinsed after each scrape.
The Benefits of Tongue Scrapers
Sometimes brushing and flossing alone aren't enough to make the mouth feel completely fresh or get rid of bad breath. Food debris and bacteria can buildup on the tongue, resulting in a coated tongue. Coated tongues can cause bad breath and leave the mouth feeling less than clean. Smoking, poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, certain medications, and oral yeast infections can all lead to a coated tongue.
Using a tongue scraper is an effective way to remove food debris and bacteria on the tongue, helping to reduce bad breath. By removing bacteria from the tongue, tongue scrapers can also help reduce the risk of oral infections, such as gum disease and oral yeast infections. In addition to these health benefits, some people who use tongue scrapers have found that with regular use, their sense of taste improves. Overall, the benefits of tongue scraping include:
- Helps remove bacteria from the tongue that brushing leaves behind
- Helps remove food debris stuck on the tongue
- May improve the ability to taste
- Helps reduce the risk of oral infections
- Improves the breath
- Can help make the mouth feel fresher after brushing and flossing
Although tongue scrapers can help improve the breath and reduce bacteria in the mouth, tongue scraping is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. Instead, tongue scrapers should be used in addition to daily brushing and flossing.
Protect Your Oral Health
Tongue scraping, along with daily brushing and flossing, are the at-home components of any good oral health care routine. Regular dental exams and cleanings are also essential to ensuring a healthy, beautiful smile. To schedule your next exam or learn more about your dental care options, we encourage you to contact Drs. Bell and Crocker.