Bad breath has many causes. Sometimes it's a sign of an oral health problem, like gum disease or tooth decay, in which case restorative dentistry treatments may be used to improve oral health and eliminate the cause of bad breath. Another common cause of bad breath includes food particles that linger in the mouth and on the tongue. Brushing and flossing are often helpful at reducing bad breath, but may leave behind odorous food remnants and bacteria on the tongue. Tongue scrapers can help.
Tongue scrapers can add a boost of freshness to your oral hygiene routine. Find out how as we discuss the benefits of tongue scrapers in this blog post from Kansas City, MO dentist John P. Goodman.
What Are Tongue Scrapers?
A tongue scraper is an oral hygiene tool designed to remove food debris and bacteria from the tongue, helping to clean the tongue and freshen the breath. Tongue scrapers may be found over-the-counter near toothbrushes and other oral hygiene items. Tongue scrapers are available in many different shapes and sizes and may be made of plastic, steel, or copper.
How Are Tongue Scrapers Used?
It's easy to use a tongue scraper, making it a great addition to anyone's regular oral hygiene routine. Although tongue scraping may be done at any time of the day, it is generally recommended that patients scrape the tongue in the morning or night when brushing and flossing the teeth.
To use a tongue scraper, you simply scrape the device along the tongue. You should begin by sticking your tongue out and placing the scraper at the back of the tongue, pulling forward to remove debris from the back of the tongue to the tip. After each scraping, the tongue scraper should be rinsed. Repeat scraping until no debris is left on the scraper.
What Are the Benefits of Tongue Scrapers?
The tongue often gets neglected when it comes to oral hygiene, leaving the mouth feeling less than fresh. Even regularly brushing the tongue with a toothbrush can leave the tongue coated with bacteria, dead cells, and food debris. Those who don't practice proper oral hygiene, smoke, or suffer from dry mouth or oral yeast infections often experience severely coated tongues.
Whatever the reason for a coated tongue, tongue scrapers can help by physically removing food debris, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Not only are tongue scrapers beneficial for alleviating coated tongues and reducing bad breath, they can help reduce the risk of gum disease and oral yeast infections by reducing bacteria within the mouth. For some, regular use of tongue scrapers has even helped improve sense of taste.
Tongue scrapers offer many benefits, including:
- Helps improve breath
- Can make the mouth feel fresher after brushing
- Helps remove food debris and bacteria left behind by brushing
- Removes old skin cells that may harbor odors
- May help improve the sense of taste
- Helps reduce the risk of certain oral infections
Schedule a Consultation
For more tips about protecting your oral health and keeping your breath fresh, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Goodman.