What Is Tongue Scraping, and Why Is It Beneficial?

We’re all familiar with brushing and flossing. However, even after a particularly aggressive oral hygiene session, you might still notice bad breath. Before you go for a swish and gargle with an abrasive mouthwash, it might be better to opt for a tongue scraper. Tongue scraping helps bad breath at the source without introducing chemicals that make things worse. Learn more about what it is and its benefits to your oral health!

What Exactly Is Tongue Scraping?

You may not be familiar with tongue scraping, let alone know what it is. Tongue scraping is a method for removing particles and buildup on the tongue. You can use a tongue scraper, the back of a toothbrush, or even a sanitized spoon. 

While tongue scraping can be an effective remover of buildup, it’s still no substitute for toothbrushing. It also isn’t a magic solution for bad breath. Just doing it once won’t get rid of bad breath in its entirety. Bacteria that lead to bad breath comes about throughout the day as we eat, drink, and live. It’s best to be consistent with tongue scraping. If not after every meal, then every time you toothbrush. Doing this will help stop the precursors of severe bad breath from taking root.  

Tongue scraping is best done by starting at the back (or middle, if worried about gag reflex) of the tongue and moving toward the tip. Collect buildup after each scrape in a cloth or tissue, and wash the scraper or preferred tool after every use. 

As a final note, tongue scraping has shown to be more effective in removing harmful buildup than using a soft-bristled toothbrush. However, even using the soft side of a toothbrush is better than nothing. 

How Is It Beneficial? 

Over time, dead cells, bacteria, and other buildup concentrate on our tongues. This buildup results in bad breath and can even contribute to other oral health problems. 

This being said, tongue scraping can decrease bad breath, especially if done consistently. It can also remove odor-causing bacteria and bacteria responsible for tooth decay, such as Mutans streptococci

Tongue scraping sets your mouth up for better oral health overall. For instance, it can help curb gum disease, cavities, and other causes of decay. It can even help improve your tongue’s look and allow you to taste food and beverages better. Tongue scraping can reduce tongue discoloration and improve taste sensations. 
Want even more benefits to your oral health? Schedule a check-up and cleaning at LeCroy Dental! We can get your smile nice and shiny—and even share our oral health best practices with you. And don’t forget to return to our blog for more mouth-related help as needed!