Oral health encompasses far more than just routinely caring for your teeth alone. Your tongue in fact plays an integral supporting role in managing bad breath, gum disease risks and keeping teeth plaque-free. Recently, tongue scrapers have exploded in popularity as must-have tools for optimal oral hygiene. But do these unique devices actually deliver measurable cleanliness and health perks? Or are claims just overblown marketing ploys? Let's closely delve into this burning topic and objectively uncover the whole truth.
A tongue scraper is a small, handheld tool designed to clean the surface of your tongue. It's used to remove excess particles, including the ones that cause bad breath. When you sleep, your body is in rest mode, but the bacteria in your mouth aren't. They multiply and spread, including on your tongue, leading to a coating of unwanted substances. This is where a tongue scraper comes into play.
Tongue scraping has numerous benefits. Firstly, it helps combat bad breath, also known as halitosis. The bacteria and food particles that are trapped on your tongue are a significant cause of bad breath. By scraping your tongue, you can remove these particles and improve your breath. Also, it enhances your sense of taste. Regularly using a tongue scraper can help remove the coating on your tongue that blocks your taste buds. This can lead to an improved sense of taste, allowing you to enjoy your meals more.
Several studies support the effectiveness of tongue scraping. One study found that using a tongue scraper twice daily for seven days reduced the overall incidence of Mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria, both of which can lead to bad breath and oral health issues. Another study found that tongue scraping can improve taste sensation. While more research is needed, the available evidence suggests that tongue scraping can be a beneficial part of your oral hygiene routine.
Using a tongue scraper is simple. Start at the back of your tongue, and gently pull the scraper forward. You should do this once or twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night. Remember to clean your scraper with warm water after each use to remove the bacteria you've just scraped off.
At Khanani Family Dental, we believe in a comprehensive approach to oral health. That includes educating our patients on the benefits of tongue scraping. If you're in the Holden or Worcester area and have more questions about this or any other oral hygiene practice, we encourage you to reach out. Dr. Salman Khanani and our team are ready to help you achieve your best smile. Call us today at (508) 829-4575 to request an appointment. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy mouth and a confident smile.