When it comes to good general dentistry, good at-home oral hygiene is just as important as regular visits to the dentist. Brushing and flossing are essential for fighting cavities, which is why the team at our Albuquerque stresses proper dental care to our patients.
Yet what about tongue scrapers? You've likely seen different kinds of tongue scrapers while at the drugstore and wondered if they have actual oral hygiene benefits. Let's explore the issue and consider how they can enhance your at-home oral hygiene routine.
What Is a Tongue Scraper?
A tongue scraper is just what it sounds like: a dental implement that is designed specifically to clean the tongue. Using a tongue scraper is simple. Place the tongue scraper at the back of the tongue and pull it forward along the tongue's surface to the tip. Repeat this motion until the entire tongue has been scraped clean.
Tongue Scrapers Have a Long History
While tongue scrapers have become more prominent in recent years, their history goes back centuries. Tongue scraping and different kinds of tongue cleaners were part of the ancient oral hygiene practices of people in Africa, India, South America, and the Arab world. Even back then, people know that scraping the tongue clean could be beneficial to dental health.
Tongue Scrapers Can Improve Your Breath
Food particles in the mouth and oral bacteria are the most common causes of bad breath. When food remains on the tongue, oral bacteria can feed on it and make your breath pungent. By scraping the tongue clean, you remove any material left on your tongue, which means a reduced chance of bad breath.
Tongue Scrapers Are More Comfortable Than a Toothbrush
If you've ever used a toothbrush to clean your tongue, you know just how uncomfortable that sensation can be. People often salivate excessively or gag while doing this. By comparison, the use of a tongue scraper is far more comfortable.
Tongue Scrapers May Promote Better Dental Health
Keeping your mouth as clean as possible is a good way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Since a tongue scraper removes unwanted substances from your mouth, it can help you have a cleaner mouth overall. Regular brushing, flossing, and scraping is a good option to help fight cavities and periodontal disease.
Tongue Scrapers Can Potentially Improve Your Sense of Taste
By "taste" we don't mean your opinions on art and culture. Instead we mean your ability to appreciate flavors. The dead cells and other matter on your tongue may be dulling or throwing off your sense of taste. By scraping your tongue clean, you may be able to detect certain notes and flavor profiles your previously couldn't. This is a good consideration for foodies as well as people who appreciate tea, coffee, wine, craft beers, and artisinal cocktails.
Are Tongue Scrapers Worth It?
They certainly couldn't hurt. We recommend trying a tongue scraper for yourself to see how it can improve your breath and your dental health. It may be just what you need.
Learn More About Tongue Scrapers
For more information about tongue scrapers and other ways you can improve your oral hygiene and dental health, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. We look forward to your visit and discussing these topics in much greater detail.