What is tongue scraping?
Tongue scraping is an easy and effective way to remove extra particles and bacteria (the cause of bad breath) from your tongue. It’s performed with a small, slightly rounded tool made from plastic or metal.
Although no amount of scraping will replace a good toothbrushing, its proven benefits have convinced many to add this activity to their morning and evening routines.
Read on to learn about how tongue scraping can improve your oral health, prevent disease and common misconceptions to keep in mind.
Benefits of tongue scraping?
Bacteria, food debris and dead cells build up on your tongue over time. This can lead to the bad breath that we so commonly deal with and can also have a negative impact on your overall oral health.
The primary benefits of using a tongue scraper include:
- Reduce bad breath. Although tongue scraping can’t replace brushing your teeth, scraping may do some things better. Researchers in one 2004 study found that scraping was more effective than brushing at removing odor-causing bacteria.
- Remove bacteria living on your mouth. Researchers in a 2005 study found that using a tongue scraper twice a day for a week reduces the overall occurrence of Mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth. These harmful bacteria types are known to cause bad breath and dental decay that leads to cavities and other oral issues.
- Improve your sense of taste. Scientific research suggests that using a tongue scraper twice daily can improve your sense of taste by removing the debris and bacteria that block your taste buds. This means that your tongue may be able to better distinguish between bitter, sweet, salty, and sour sensations.
- Reduce hunger and cravings. By removing the coating of debris and bacteria, you improve your ability to taste your food, which makes it more satisfying. When we are satisfied with our food, not only do you eat less, but you also eliminate the need to add more sugar, salt, or fat to the food to make it more flavorful. One study confirmed that tongue cleaning increased the perceived salt taste intensity, and could help people reduce the overuse of salt in their food.
- Improve the look of your tongue. The normal buildup of debris can cause a white coating to develop on your tongue. Daily scraping helps to remove this unwanted coating and prevent it from coming back.
- Disease prevention. Removing bacteria is important to preventing cavities, gum disease, and other unwanted conditions in the mouth. Tongue scraping can help eradicate these bacteria from the mouth leading to holistic wellness.
- Prevent toxins from reabsorbing into your body. As you sleep, your body is detoxifying. Much of the film on your tongue is toxins excreted from your body. You don’t don't want to be re-ingesting those toxins when wake up. Scraping your tongue first thing in the morning will remove this sludge from your tongue and from your body, improving your over all health and improving your immune system.
(Your long overdue tongue clean up)
Sound too good to be true?
A common misconception about tongue scraping is that it offers long term benefits in reducing bad breath. Although scraping can help banish bad breath in the short term, frequent scraping is key to maintaining consistent fresh breath.
For example, using a tongue scraper in the morning won’t prevent bad breath from developing later in the day as food and bacteria build up. If you’re concerned about bad breath, you’ll need to get into a consistent routine of scraping, however occasional scraping prevents the thick layers of debris that are most unhealthy.
At a minimum, scrape your tongue once every few days. This will help remove the long-term buildup that’s associated with severe bad breath.
Another misconception is that scrubbing your tongue with a toothbrush is equally effective as using a tongue scraper. The results of a 2004 study suggest against this. Researchers discovered that tongue scrapers removed 30% more volatile sulfur compounds (the cause of bad breath) on the tongue than a soft-bristled toothbrush.
While cleaning your tongue with a toothbrush is better than not cleaning it at all, using a tongue scraper is proven to be far more effective.
Tongue scrapers can be made with plastic or different metals. Which one you choose depends on your personal preference.
Metal tongue scrapers are generally thought to last longer. Many are dishwasher-safe, too. Plastic ones are usually cheaper, but may need to be replaced more frequently. Most tongue scrapers cost about $10.
We recommend checking out our Bäst Copper Tongue Scraper. We have carefully developed this scraper to deliver the results you need and look stylish at the same time.