A tongue scraper is a tool that does just as its name suggests: scrapes the surface of the tongue to clean it. Tongue scrapers come in many shapes and sizes but typically all work the same way. You place the scraper at the back of your tongue and then pull it forward.
The idea is that a tongue scraper helps to remove bacteria and food particles that have accumulated on your tongue, leaving you with a cleaner mouth and fresher breath. If that’s true, should you consider buying and using a tongue scraper? Or is this just another health fad with no real benefit? Let’s find out.
Should You Be Using A Tongue Scraper?
In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once daily, cleaning your tongue can have a major impact on your overall oral health. Throughout the day, bacteria can build up on your tongue, potentially leading to oral health issues such as plaque, cavities, or gum disease.
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) found that using a tongue scraper can make a significant difference in your breath. Sulfur compounds can accumulate on your tongue, causing bad breath, and scraping your tongue results in a noticeable decrease of those compounds.
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that tongue scrapers reduced bad breath-causing sulfur compounds by 75 percent, while brushing your tongue with a standard toothbrush reduced just 45 percent of sulfur compounds.
If you or those around you have noticed a particular stench on your breath, a tongue scraper may be worth considering. Even if you aren’t concerned about halitosis, there is certainly no risk associated with regularly cleaning your tongue. To be sure, talk to your dentist about whether a tongue scraper is right for you.
Types of Tongue Scrapers
If you decide that scraping your tongue is worth adding to your oral hygiene routine, you may be curious about the different types of tongue scrapers available.
Most tongue scrapers on the market will get the job done, but there are benefits to using specific kinds. For example, stainless steel tongue scrapers are tough and won’t rust. U-shaped scrapers cover a wider surface than smaller brush-like cleaners but can sometimes be too wide to fit in your mouth.
Some tongue cleaners work no differently than a standard toothbrush, using bristles to scrub the surface of your tongue rather than scrape it.
In general, your best bet is to go for a stainless-steel tongue scraper that you can use comfortably without causing any discomfort.
To learn more about ways you can keep your mouth healthy and prevent oral health problems, visit Dental Health Of Fianna. If it’s been more than six months since your last checkup, schedule an appointment so we help you make sure your teeth are as clean and radiant as possible. Call our Fort Smith, AR office today at 479-262-9101 or contact us with our online form. We look forward to hearing from you.