Today we will talk about the reason why you should use a tongue scraper and how to use it. Let’s talk about the benefits of tongue scraping first.
I’m sure you’ve heard of tongue scraping. But maybe you haven’t tried it yet. If you haven’t tried it yet, just know that once you start you’ll never want to stop. Tongue scraping is essentially cleaning the bumpy top side surface of your tongue. The process actually removes trapped food debris and bacteria between the tiny little papilla that cover the surface of your tongue. These small finger-like productions the little papilla are known for harboring as much as 90% of the bacteria that causes bad breath.
Can you use a toothbrush to brush your tongue? Sure. But the proper tongue cleaning is when you use a tongue scraper. There’s a bunch of different types of tongue scrapers. They are designed to get your tongue far cleaner than you would with a toothbrush. Just like in the name, they really scrape off the bacteria opposed to just moving it around. You’ll probably be shocked or disgusted the first time you use one. They’re that effective. You’ll really see the gunk come off of your tongue.
Let’s talk about the four main benefits of using a tongue scraper.
1. Reduce bad breath.
Like I mentioned earlier, the particles that hide between your tongue’s papilla can harbor plenty of smelly bacteria, especially if you’ve been eating any smelly food. When tongue scraping is paired with the rest of your home care dental hygiene routine, you’ll definitely notice a significant improvement in your breath.
2. Improve appearance.
Healthy tongues have a nice pink color to them. But if there are splotchy areas of light or brown or black across them, they aren’t just smelly, they can also be unattractive. Even though people don’t spend a lot of time looking at each other’s tongues. It can be a matter of self-confidence.
Having a cleaner tongue means you’re not swallowing all of those oral bacteria every time you eat or drink something. It’s the same as brushing your teeth. You don’t want to purposely swallow all the plaque bacteria that’s stuck across your smile. Cleaning your tongue regularly reduces the overall bacterial load inside of your body. In turn, your GI tract and immune system will thank you.
4. They enhance your sense of taste.
When your tongue isn’t coated with thick bacteria, your taste buds come into better contact with your food. And you’ll enjoy richer tasting meals and all the flavors that you couldn’t before. Removing layers of buildup across your tongue can make your palate more sensitive to the rich tastes of your favorite dishes.
A big question about tongue scraping is can I damage my taste buds? The answer is, if used properly, no. But if you were extremely aggressive, of course you could damage the soft tissue. Tongue scraping might actually help your taste buds to work even better than before because the germs won’t be covering them. So always remember to be gentle when you’re tongue scraping.
Now, let’s talk about how to properly use a tongue scraper.
There is a right and a wrong way to use a tongue scraper and if you do it the wrong way tongue scraping can hurt or be ineffective. So when you’re using a tongue scraper, step one is always drag it from back to front. Stick your tongue out as far as you can then place the scraper as far back as comfortable. Press the tongue scraper down against your tongue using gentle pressure. Then slowly drag it forward toward the tip of your tongue. This is where you want to pause for a moment. You want to stop look down at your tongue scraper. Seeing is believing.
Now rinse your tongue scraper off and then repeat the process two to three more times or until you feel like your tongue is fairly clean. You really only need to use a tongue scraper once a day at night. It takes like two seconds each time. Just make sure you’re being gentle. Gentle is key. You do not want to hurt your tongue by pressing too hard. You really barely need to press it at all. It does the work for you.
Are there any side effects or risks of using a tongue scraper?
The number one side effect of tongue scraping is gagging. If you are someone who has a sensitive gag reflex, putting something on the back of your tongue like this can totally set off all sorts of instincts. Best tip for those with a sensitive gag reflex is to ease yourself into it. Start out by only cleaning the front part of your tongue. Then working your way further back the more often you use it. To stop yourself from gagging, you just need to work your way towards it. Also smiling is a natural way to inhibit your gag reflex, although it may be difficult to smile. Stick out your tongue at the same time. It’s definitely worth a try.
Once you start using a tongue scraper the benefits are instant. Hope this blog can help you. If you have any question about tongue scraping, feel free to write any comment below.