To eliminate bacteria, clean food scraps, and other detritus off the surface of your tongue, you can use a straightforward instrument. It has existed for at least a few thousand years. Romans carried it out. Victorians carried it out. Even George Washington, who was renowned for his oral issues, participated. If you simply brush your tongue a few times while brushing your teeth, you can get a similar result. However, according to some specialists, a specialized scraping tool works better at eliminating plaque and bacteria from the surface of the tongue.
A tongue scraper could be helpful if you can’t manage to get the taste of cheese, onion, or garlic out of your mouth after brushing.
The tongue serves a variety of functions and is one of the body’s most flexible muscles. Speech is aided, and food is actively moved around to facilitate easier tasting, chewing, and swallowing. However, when you open your mouth, bacteria enter and, over time, they group together to create colonies that live on top of your tongue.
A few medical studies back the use of tongue scraping to get rid of bad breath-causing germs. The research were generally tiny and yielded weak conclusions. The few known clinical trials discovered a transient benefit in utilising tongue scrapers rather than toothbrushes for tongue clean. The American Dental Association does not currently support tongue scrapers due to a lack of convincing data. However, there is no harm in attempting it if you’re interested as long as people prioritise the other advice of brushing teeth for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.
According to Dr. Alice Boghosian, the American Dental Association’s consumer adviser spokesperson. Personally, I scrape my tongue before bed and in the morning after flossing and brushing, according to Boghosian. It gives me the impression that my mouth is cleaner.
How to use
A tongue scraper can be used similarly to a razor. To get rid of the bacteria, clean the tongue three to five times, adding a little pressure each time. Instead of attempting to stick the tongue scraper all the way to the back of the tongue, think about starting in the middle. The likelihood of triggering the gag reflex increases as you move further back. Avoid applying too much pressure to avoid cutting the papillae, which are little bumps on your tongue. Your taste buds are housed in these tiny protrusions. If you nick them while eating acidic or spicy meals, it can lead to inflammation and irritation.
It’s a learning process through trial and error; “Try it lightly and see how much plaque you’re getting off without cutting yourself.” If you’re not using a disposable, single-use tongue scraper, you should rinse with soap and water after each use. For full disinfection, doctors suggested letting the tongue scraper sit in a cup of water and hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes.
When to use
How frequently you should use a tongue scraper is not specified in any official standards. Boghosian said patients can use a tongue scraper. Whenever they feel like a deeper cleaning, as long as they follow the checklist of brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing.
Kosdon advised doing it at least twice a day. If you were attempting to increase the amount of tongue scraping in your dental hygiene regimen. Everyone should probably include it in their hygiene routine. If done properly, trying can’t hurt.