Mann Family Dental
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What is a tongue scraper and why should I use one?

August 11, 2015
Posted By: Dr. Russell D. Mann

A tongue scraper is a device that is designed to remove stuff (bacteria, food, dead cells) from your tongue. Almost half of the bacteria in our mouths resides on our tongue. That means that flossing and brushing won’t get the whole job done. You can brush your tongue with your toothbrush, but since your toothbrush is designed for teeth, it might not be as effective.

Your tongue can be a good indicator of what’s going on with your body. Sometime when you wake up, you may notice that your tongue is white. This is because there are bacteria, food debris and dead cells that are trapped between the papillae on your tongue. If the papillae are more swollen than normal for some reason, more debris will get stuck in there, causing your tongue to look whiter than normal. A tongue cleaner or tongue scraper can solve this and turn your tongue back to its normal color.

Some toothbrushes have tongue cleaners on the back of them so that you can flip them over and clean your tongue. This combined with using the bristles might do the trick, but if you feel like your tongue isn’t getting totally clean, a regular tongue scraper might be worth a try.

Particularly if you’ve been having trouble with halitosis, I would recommend trying out a tongue scraper. You can find them in the drugstore for just a few dollars. Often the odor from your mouth is caused by the bacteria that are on your tongue. So removing it can greatly improve your breath.

It’s also been noted that tongue cleaning can improve your ability to taste your food. If you get rid of all the gunk, your taste buds will be more exposed and able to taste better. Sometimes, the buildup on your tongue can even block your taste buds and make them inflamed. Keeping your tongue and the rest of your mouth clean can prevent this from happening.

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