Oral & Vision Health Blog

Tongue Scraping: 4 Reasons to Do It

Tongue scraping may sound like an odd concept. But, it really works!

It’s an oral hygiene practice that removes bacteria, food particles, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the tongue’s surface. The scraper itself can vary in shape. Some may appear as the one above; a one-handle tool with a curved edge, it can be plastic or metal (far more hygienic, long-lasting, and easier to clean). Others, and more popular, appear as a long, thin, flat piece of metal that’s bent to form a “U” shape. You hold both ends of the scraper, stick out your tongue, and put the scraper as far back on your tongue as you can. Firmly (but also gently) scrape forward on the surface of your tongue in one long stroke. Rinse the scraper and repeat until your tongue feels clean with no coating. It typically takes five-10 rounds of scraping.

But…why should you do it? Here are four reasons!

  • Fresh breath. It’s pretty safe to say that people universally do not want to have bad breath. It can have a negative impact on your self-esteem and relationships. And, did you know that bad breath mostly comes from bacteria at the back of the tongue? Studies show that tongue scraping reduces and removes—considerably—bacteria from all areas of the tongue.
  • Toxic mucus affects taste buds. The build-up of mucus on the tongue can block taste buds. This impacts your ability to fully taste your food. Tongue scraping removes the build-up and opens the pores on your tongue. You’ll be able to taste your food better. What better reason can there be than knowing your taste buds will sing!
  • Boost your immunity. Did you know that the tongue is the first line of defense when it comes to your immune system? By scraping toxins off of your tongue, you are preventing harmful toxins from reentering your body. This boosts your immunity to sicknesses.
  • Dental health is your thing. Adding tongue scraping into your regular dental health routine just makes sense. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, scraping enhances oral hygiene by getting rid of bacteria that can cause gum disease, plaque build-up, tooth decay, etc.

So yes, while this practice might seem kind of strange, it really does work. It’s a great complement to your current oral hygiene regimen!

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