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Tongue Scraping

Tongue Scraping

Tongue Scraping and Why You Should do it

Tongue scraping is a quick technique to get rid of additional debris off the surface of your tongue, especially the kinds that contribute to bad breath. A little, somewhat rounded tool composed of plastic or metal is used to perform it.

Although scraping cannot replace brushing with a good toothbrush, many people have been persuaded to include this extra step in their morning and evening routines because of its alleged benefits.

Continue reading to find out more about the benefits of tongue scraping for dental health, common myths to avoid, and how to get started.

Benefits of tongue scraping

Your tongue can accumulate debris, germs, and dead cells over time. This could harm your dental health in general and result in poor breath.

This accumulation can be eliminated by using a tongue scraper and can also include:

  • Improve your sense of taste. According to research, utilising a tongue scraper twice a day can enhance your taste buds. It’s possible that your tongue will be better able to discern between bitter, sweet, salty, and sour flavours.
  • Improve the appearance of your tongue. Your tongue may seem white and coated from a buildup of extra particles. Daily scraping will assist with removing this covering and preventing its reappearance.
  • Removes bacteria. Using a tongue scraper twice daily for seven days reduced the total incidence of Mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth, according to a 2005 study. These bacteria are known to contribute to dental damage and bad breath.
  • Improve overall health. The key to preventing gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues is getting rid of bacteria. By removing these bacteria from the mouth, tongue scraping can enhance the look and feel of your tongue.
  • Reduce bad breath. Even though cleaning your teeth is necessary, tongue scraping may accomplish some tasks more effectively. In one 2004 study, researchers discovered that scraping was superior to brushing at eliminating microorganisms that cause odours.


Does tongue scraping have any limitations?

The idea that tongue scraping has long-term advantages in decreasing foul breath is a prevalent myth. Scraping can help eliminate foul breath, but you must be consistent.

A tongue scraper in the morning, for instance, won’t stop foul breath from appearing later in the day. As you eat and drink, bacteria will accumulate, so if you’re worried about bad breath, you should scrape after every meal.

When brushing your teeth, at the very least, scratch your tongue. This will aid in preventing the long-term accumulation linked to severe bad breath.

Another fallacy is the idea that using a toothbrush instead of a tongue scraper will have the same results. Results of a 2004 study point to the contrary. Researchers discovered that compared to a soft-bristled toothbrush, tongue scrapers removed 30% more volatile sulphur compounds from the tongue.

Although using a toothbrush to clean your tongue is preferable to not cleaning it at all, a tongue scraper is more efficient.

7 Steps to tongue scraping

You’ll need the proper equipment—a tongue scraper—to execute tongue scraping. Many possibilities can be found by conducting a fast search for tongue scrapers. These consist of stainless steel, copper, and plastic versions.

Most will resemble an inverted spoon and be slightly rounded in shape. Household objects like a spoon (clean, of course) or a toothbrush will work in a pinch. They might not, however, get rid of as many odour-producing germs as a special tongue scraper.

The steps to tongue scraping are as follows:

  1. Open your mouth wide and extend your tongue while facing a mirror.
  2. Place the tongue scraper’s rounded end gently at the back of your tongue.
  3. Starting at the middle of your tongue may be useful if you’re concerned that you’ll gag. As you grow acclimated to scraping, you can progressively start from a farther back position.
  4. Put the scraper gently against your tongue. Pull it slowly forward toward your tongue’s tip. Never pull back the scraper on the tip of your tongue. Always move your tongue from the back to the tip.
  5. Use a washcloth or tissue to wipe the scraper clean after each scrape.
  6. Continue until your tongue’s whole surface has been scraped. Usually, one to two scrapes over the same area are sufficient.
  7. The tongue scraper should be cleaned with warm water and soap, dried, and kept in a tidy, dry location.

The entire procedure normally takes around two minutes. Repeat as necessary, throughout the day.

Are there any hazards or negative effects to take into account?

The gag reflex being triggered is one of the main issues with tongue scraping. You might become nauseous while doing this.

Avoid putting the scraper too far back on your tongue to prevent this. You might find it useful to scrape from the middle to the tip of your tongue when you first begin. As you grow used to the feeling, you can gradually start from a farther back position.

Using the scraper carelessly could result in cutting your tongue’s surface.

Make sure your tongue scraper doesn’t have any jagged or uneven edges to avoid this. Before each use, you should check your scraper to make sure it’s still safe to use.

Be aware of the amount of pressure you’re using. You want to be firm enough to scrape up extra debris, but gentle enough to avoid damaging your taste buds or breaking the skin. When in doubt, apply light pressure at first and then build it up.

Things to try

The materials used to make tongue scrapers can be plastic or various metals. Depending on your preferences, you can select either one.

In general, metal tongue scrapers are said to last longer. Many are also dishwasher safe. Plastic ones are typically less expensive but could require more frequent replacement. The majority of tongue scrapers cost under £10.

On Amazon, some of the more well-liked and rated tongue scrapers include:

Additional strategies for enhancing oral health

Tongue scraping can be helpful, but if you don’t practise comprehensive dental hygiene, you won’t get the results you want.

Your entire oral health can be improved and kept up if you:

  • To help prevent cavities, use mouthwash and toothpaste that contain fluoride.
  • You should at least twice daily brush your teeth and gums.
  • Make sure to brush for two minutes or more. To assist make sure each session is long enough, set a timer or turn on a song on your phone.
  • To get rid of hard-to-reach dirt between your teeth, floss at least once a day.
  • In order to lessen dry mouth, which is a typical reason for foul breath, drink lots of water throughout the day.
  • Avoid using tobacco products because they can cause tongue accumulation.

For frequent examinations and cleanings, you should also visit the dentist. The majority of dentists advise twice-yearly cleanings, but depending on your overall oral health, you could need to attend more frequently.

When to visit the dentist

Although simple home remedies for mouth conditions like tongue scraping can lessen tongue accumulation, they are not a panacea.

If you have a “hairy tongue” or experience persistent dry mouth, call your dentist straight away. If you would benefit from more frequent cleanings, a particular mouthwash, or other treatment choices, they can evaluate your symptoms and make that determination.

When you scrape your tongue, occasionally you may find indications that your dentist should check out. This involves mouth white patches. These patches can be treated under your dentist’s supervision and are typically brought on by oral thrush or leukoplakia.

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