The oral hygiene section at your local drugstore can be quite overwhelming. As you walk down the aisle, you see the limitless variety of toothpastes, toothbrushes, and mouthwashes, but then something catches your eye - a tongue brush? What is that? Is it actually necessary to be brushing your tongue? According to evidence based research, it is definitely necessary as bacteria, dead cells, leftover food debris, and toxins can accumulate on your tongue overtime. This can contribute to bad breath, also known as halitosis. According to research, around 85% of all halitosis cases originate from bacteria within the mouth, and 50% are caused by the debris leftover on the tongue.
By the end of the day, you may notice a thick white coating on your tongue that often ranges in colours from clear, white, yellow, brown or green. The good news is that tongue scrapers can quickly and effectively remove extra particles from the surface of your tongue. They can be made of plastic, metals such as copper and stainless steel, and silicone - each effective in removing the debris from your tongue. Your tongue can also be cleaned with a regular toothbrush, however research has reported that a tongue scraper is more effective in removing volatile sulfur compounds (common culprit of bad breath).
Here at Credit River Dental Centre in Mississauga, our skilled providers offer a range of dental services, and we encourage our patients to take an active role in maintaining good oral hygiene. That includes brushing and flossing, of course, and incorporating tongue scraping as part of your oral hygiene routine as well. As your Mississauga family dentist, we hope that we can achieve optimal oral health for each of you together by focusing on your mouth as a whole, rather than just your teeth.
We have formulated a list of five key reasons why you may want to consider using a tongue scraper below:
- Eliminates bad breath
- One of the major reasons for bad breath is not cleaning your tongue. By removing food debris, dead cells, bacteria and fungi from the teeth, it gradually reduces the bad breath from the mouth
- Enhances taste buds
- The buildup of debris often leads to taste buds becoming less effective. By removing tongue debris, you are better able to taste bitter, sweet, salty, and sour sensations
- Improves immune system
- Tongue scraping can help prevent toxins from being reabsorbed into your body and help improve your immune system
- Improves appearance of tongue
- Sometimes the buildup of debris can cause your tongue to have a white coating. Tongue scraping can aid in restoring your tongue back to its normal pink colour.
- Enhances oral health
- By scraping your tongue, you can lower the presence of Strep. Mutans and Lactobacilli bacteria (which are known to cause tooth decay and bad breath)
As your Mississauga family dentist, we have also provided some tips to use when scraping your tongue:
- Stick your tongue out and place the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue and scrape forward along the surfaces of your tongue as often as needed
- Gently scrape your tongue, do not scrape hardly as that can cause damage to the tissue
- Try to avoid placing the tongue scraper too far back to prevent stimulating a gag reflex
- Rinse the scraper in water after each scrape
- Repeat this until you feel your tongue is freshened
- Wash the scraper in hot water after each use.
To find our more about tongue scraping or other aids that can be used to improve your oral health, we welcome you to call us Credit River Dental Centre in Port Credit, Mississauga at (905) 278-4297 and we can work together in order achieve a happy and healthy smile!