Tongue Scrapers: Are There Dental Health Benefits?
Regular dental visits can help your smile look great, but it's important to practice good oral hygiene at home. Regular brushing and flossing can prevent cavities and tooth decay, and help you dentist keep your smile its healthiest. The team at our Red Bank restorative dentistry center can offer many tips to enhance your oral hygiene routine in a number of ways.
For example, we've received a number of questions over the years about the use of tongue scrapers. We'd like to consider how tongue scrapers can help improve your dental health. As you're about to read, there are some important benefits to consider.
What Is a Tongue Scraper?
A tongue scraper is an oral hygiene implement that is specifically designed to clean the surface of a person's tongue. Tongue scrapers come in many different shapes and sizes, but the general principle and use is the same. Patients place the tongue scraper at the back of the tongue and then pull forward, raking the tongue clean. This simple action is repeated until the entire surface of the tongue has been scraped.
A tongue scraper removes food particles, bacteria, and dead cells that have settled on the tongue, which can have a number of benefits for your dental health.
Are Tongue Scrapers/Cleaners a New Invention?
No, not at all.
Tongue scrapers have been around for centuries, and were part of the ancient oral hygiene routines of people from Africa, South America, parts of Europe, and the Arab world. Tongue scraping would eventually come to be associated with the affluent people in Europe during the 18th and 19th century.
Today, tongue scrapers are easily obtained from your local drug store and other places where you can purchase oral hygiene items.
Tongue Scrapers Can Prevent Bad Breath
One of the most important benefits of tongue scrapers is their ability to prevent or reduce bad breath. By removing food particles and dead cells, two of the primary causes of bad breath in the mouth are eliminated. This can make a major difference when combined with regular brushing and flossing.
Tongue Scrapers Are Comfortable and Easy to Use
If you've ever brushed your tongue with a toothbrush, you may have noticed how uncomfortable this can be. You may have excessively salivated, or even gagged while trying to clean your tongue. These are not issues when using a tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers are comfortable and simple tools designed specifically for this task.
Tongue Scrapers Can Improve Oral Hygiene
When combined with brushing, flossing, and the use of an antibacterial mouthwash, a tongue scraper can get your mouth extra-clean. This means improved dental health and an improved ability to fight tooth decay and gum disease. Many people include tongue scrapers in their at-home dental care routine for just this reason.
Tongue Scrapers Can Enhance Your Sense of Taste
There's anecdotal evidence that suggests people who use tongue scrapers have a more acute sense of taste. This can be a great thing to consider if you're a foodie or you appreciate wine and craft beer. Tongue scrapers can enhance your appreciation of various foods and beverages.
Contact the Michael Bixby Center for Advanced Dentistry
If you would like to learn more about tongue scrapers and other options and items that can enhance your oral hygiene practices, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist today. We look forward to discussing these issues with you in greater detail.