Why should I use a tongue scraper – does it work?
The short answer is: Yes, it does work.
It is quite normal to have bacteria in your mouth. However, when they break down food remains and dead surface cells from the mucous membranes in your mouth, they release hydrogen sulphide, methyl mercaptan and other sulphurous gases as a by-product. And they smell unpleasant.
A tongue scraper – also called a tongue cleaner – will first and foremost help you to combat bad breath by removing coatings and bacteria from the surface of the tongue.
The surface of the tongue is uneven, with grooves and channels which are ideal for bacteria to settle on. Then, because the waste from the bacteria smells bad, you get bad breath, which is unpleasant for you and those around you.
A tongue scraper may also help with other factors that affect your daily life. You can learn more about them below.
Improving how food tastes when you eat
When you clean your tongue, you may find you can taste more when you eat.
If you have a thick coating on the tongue, it may mean that you miss out on flavour when you eat good food. Bacteria, remnants of food and dead skin cells can affect your taste buds and give you an unpleasant taste.
Thus, if you scrape the coating off your tongue, you can improve your sense of taste and distinguish better between sweet, sour, salt and bitter flavours.
Preventing dental disease
Apart from the pain and discomfort, it is not cheap sitting in the dentist’s chair to have the problem dealt with. Luckily, however, you can prevent that by cleaning your teeth regularly.
How do you use a tongue scraper?
Using a tongue scraper is easy. It is also easy to see how much your tongue needs to be scraped. If the bacterial colonies have become very large, they may form a yellowish white coating – but with a tongue scraper you can scrape the coating off and ensure good oral hygiene.
Simply do the following, step by step:
- Stand in front of the mirror and stick your tongue out as far as you can
- Place the rounded end of your tongue scraper at the back of your tongue. If you feel a gagging reflex, start further forward, and try to go further back gradually as your tongue gets used to the sensation.
- Pull the scraper forward slowly towards the tip of your tongue – it is important to scrape forwards from the back, and not the opposite.
- Repeat this action about eight times, or as needed – until you can feel that you have scraped the whole of the surface. Remember to rinse the scraper after each repetition, so that you remove the coating before scraping again.
- Wash your scraper with hot water and soap and water, and it will be ready to use next time. Dry it, and keep it in a clean, dry place.
Make sure you scrape the very back of your tongue
When you use a tongue scraper, it is important to go to the very back of your tongue, because the greatest concentration of bacteria normally collects at the back, where there is less disturbance. That is why you should stick your tongue out as far as possible when you scrape it, so it is easier to scrape all coatings away.
If possible, use the tongue cleaner every morning, before you brush your teeth. Remember, however, to scrape carefully, so that you do not injure the surface of the tongue.
Supplement with other cleansing products
It is most advantageous to use your tongue cleaner as a supplement for other products that help you maintain good oral hygiene. Even though the scraper is effective when used alone, it is even more effective used together with other products, if you want to get rid of bad breath.
Some tongues are more uneven and have deeper grooves than others, which can make it more difficult to keep the tongue clean. If this applies to you, you can buy a mouthwash, which strengthens defences in the mouth against unwanted bacteria.
What does a tongue scraper do?
A tongue scraper is a useful tool to maintain good oral hygiene. It is used to scrape bacteria, fungi and remnants of food off the tongue, as they can cause bad breath.
Is it a good idea to use a tongue scraper?
Yes, because it removes harmful bacteria from the tongue and helps you keep your mouth clean and healthy. If you use it daily, you can reduce the amount of harmful bacteria that cause bad breath, and can in the worst case harm your teeth.
Where can I buy a tongue scraper?
You can buy a tongue scraper from Australian Bodycare, or from the pharmacy, in some shops, and from a variety of websites on the Internet.
Can you scrape your tongue?
Yes, you can scrape your tongue. You may think it sounds dangerous, but it is not the same as shaving hair on your body. A tongue scraper is not like a blade with a sharp knife to shave hair or a beard, but a small arch made of metal or plastic, which is drawn over the surface of the tongue.
How often should I clean my tongue?
It is a good idea to clean your tongue every morning, before you brush your teeth. Then you are sure to clean everything thoroughly and keep your teeth healthy. To ensure even more regular cleaning, you can also do it in the evening – so you end up doing it twice