Introduction: Did you know that your tongue is home to more bacteria than any other part of your mouth? In fact, it's been estimated that your tongue can harbor up to 1,000 different types of bacteria at any given time! 1That's why it's so important to clean your tongue on a regular basis. A tongue scraper (or tongue cleaner) is the best way to remove bacteria, food debris, and dead cells from your tongue. Tongue scrapers are very easy to use, and they can help improve your oral health in a number of ways.
Here are four reasons why you should be using a tongue cleaner/scraper every day 2:
- A tongue cleaner/scraper will remove more bacteria than brushing alone and works better at cleaning the tongue than a toothbrush. Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, chances are there are still plenty of bacteria lurking on your tongue. A tongue scraper will help remove those final traces of bacteria, leaving your mouth feeling clean and fresh. Researchers have found that tongue scrapers removed 30% more volatile sulfur compounds (toxins released from the bacteria) on the tongue than a soft-bristled toothbrush.3
- A tongue cleaner/scraper can help improve your sense of taste. When there's a buildup of bacteria on your tongue, it can interfere with your ability to taste food properly. This is because the bacteria release toxins that affect your taste buds. By using a tongue scraper every day, you can help remove these toxins and restore your sense of taste.
- A tongue cleaner/scraper can help reduce bad breath. Bacteria are one of the main causes of bad breath (halitosis). By removing the bacteria from your tongue with a tongue scraper, you can help freshen your breath. It is estimated that approximately 85% of all halitosis (bad breath) cases have their origin within the mouth; of these, 50% are caused by tongue residues.3 Additionally, removing debris from your tongue will also help reduce the number of times you need to reach for mints or gum throughout the day.
- A tongue cleaner/scraper can improve the appearance of your tongue. Buildup of excess debris can cause your tongue to take on a white, coated appearance. Daily scraping can help remove this coating and prevent it from returning.
To perform tongue scraping, follow these steps:
- Stick out your tongue.
- Set the rounded end of the tongue cleaner/scraper at the back of your tongue, as far back as comfortable.
- If you’re concerned about gagging, start at the middle of your tongue. You can gradually work your way back as you get used to the feeling.
- Using a comfortable pressure pull the tongue cleaner/scraper forward, toward the tip of your tongue.
- You should never push the cleaner/scraper from the tip of your tongue back. Always go from the back of the tongue to the tip.
- With the ToothShower®Irrigating Tongue Cleaner/Scraper you can start with low water pressure to assist in flushing the bacteria and debris off of the tongue.
- Repeat until you’ve scraped the entire surface of your tongue.
- One to two scrapes across the same area are usually enough.
A tongue scraper is a small but mighty tool that can have a big impact on your oral health. If you're not already using one, we highly recommend giving it a try! And if you're looking for an affordable and effective option, check out our irrigating tongue scraper here at our ToothShower store today!
- Oral Microbiome; Encyclopedia of Infection and Immunity, 2022
- 5 reasons to scrape your tongue and how to do it; Healthline, 2019
- Tongue-Cleaning Methods: A comparative clinical trial employing a toothbrush and a tongue scraper; Journal of Periodontology, 2004
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