HEALTH

5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs A Tongue Scraper

If you are going to stick your tongue out for a snapshot, you probably want to make sure your tongue is scraped and cleaned. Tongue scrapping has been practiced for many, many years. I remember being little playing with my great grandmother’s tongue scraper – a thin bendy strip of copper. At the time, I did not know it was used to scrap off oral bacteria from her tongue. Yikes!

Not too long ago, I came across a Mr. Tung’s tongue scraper for sale at the pharmacist. This time, the tongue scraper is modern looking made with a thin flexible stainless steel strip fitted with candy-colored rubber cushions on both handles. I thought I would give it a try and let me tell you seriously that my dental routine has never been the same since. The satisfaction of scraping off thick mushy yellow carpet that sits on the tongue is like hooking a chuck of chewy sinew stuck between teeth while flossing.

Before I continue, let me point out that most people use the term ‘tongue scraping’ and ‘tongue cleaning’ (or tongue brushing) interchangeably. However, as an avid tongue scraper-er, there is a huge difference.

Tongue scraping is using a metal strip to literally scrap the surface of one’s tongue. Tongue cleaning or brushing is a gentler process of using toothbrush brush bristles or soft plastic to loosen and move tongue debris around. Frankly, the latter does not do anything for me.

Did you know that almost half or more of our oral bacteria lives on and in the deep cervices of our tongue? Where it remains, the bacteria builds up into a thick layer of compact mush covering the tongue’s papillae (tiny bumps). This bacteria coating can range from white, yellow to green color. At this stage, only the scraping action of a tongue scraper will be able to effectively collect and remove the stagnant bacteria buildup.

If that is not enough to convince you, here are 5 reasons why everyone needs a tongue scraper.

1. Bad Breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can have a negative impact on one’s relationships and self-esteem. Almost everyone has a phobia of having bad breath (halitophobia). It is one of the most sensitive and embarrassing topics to talk about, even with your partner. Bad smelling oral odor comes from bacteria buildup at the back of your tongue; an area so far back that it makes you gag when you try to brush it off with a toothbrush. Studies have shown that tongue scrapers are effective in removing and reducing oral bacteria from your tongue’s crevices, thus reducing or eliminating halitosis.

2. Boost immunity

Most people would never have guessed that having a clean, bacteria-free tongue is the body’s first line of defense of its immune system. The bacteria buildup on the tongue makes it easy to accumulate toxins , which is then slowly released and introduced into the body.  Scraping tongue helps boost the body’s immune system by keeping oral toxins at bay.

3. Improve Digestion

Proper digestion begins with taste and salivation. When tongue carries a thick carpet layer of bacteria coating, taste buds are blocked. This can lead to false cravings and inability to taste food. It can also result in over-eating the wrong kind of foods! Scraping also activates saliva production to aid digestion throughout the day.

4. Taste More

Once your tongue is scraped and toxic mucus is removed, the tongue’s cleaned ridges is able to open up its pores and better absorb food flavors.

5. Improve Oral Health

Oral bacteria is responsible for dental-related problems like tooth decay, plaque build-up, gum infections and gum recession. When you practice removing bacteria buildup on your tongue, it promotes good overall general tooth and gum health.

How to use a tongue scraper? Easy. Simply hold the tongue scraper on both rubber ends with one hand. Bend it to fit into your mouth and towards the back of your tongue – as far as you can tolerate. Then drag it forward to the tip of your tongue. You will find an accumulated pile of compact mush in the center of your tongue scraper’s bend. Wash it off and continue scraping until you are satisfied. If you have any irritation on your tongue, open cuts or sores, give it a rest. Let your tongue heal before commencing with scraping.

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