Plaza Dental Group +15152245999  1089 Jordan Creek Pkwy #100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

5 Reasons to Scrape Your Tongue and the Correct Way to Do It


It is common for bacteria, food debris, and dead cells to build upon your tongue over time. This can harm your overall oral health and lead to bad breath. Tongue scraping is an effective and fast way to remove these particles from the surface of your tongue. 

Benefits of Scraping Your Tongue

Here are 5 benefits of scraping your tongue: 

  1. Improves your sense of taste. 

    Dental researches suggest that scraping your tongue twice a day improves your sense of taste by helping you distinguish salty, bitter, sweet, and sour sensations more effectively.

  2. Gives your tongue a cleaner appearance.

    When excess debris accumulates on your tongue, it appears white. If you scrape your tongue on a daily basis, this white color will disappear and give your tongue a more natural and cleaner look. 

  3. Removes bacteria present in our oral cavity.

    Researchers have concluded that tongue scraping twice a day for a week can reduce several types of bacteria in our mouth that cause dental decay and bad breath.

  4. Builds overall oral health 

    Tongue scraping helps remove bacteria responsible for developing mouth conditions, such as cavities and gum diseases, thereby improving your tongue’s overall appearance and sense of taste.

  5. Reduces bad breath. 

    In regards to removing oral bacteria that cause bad breath, researchers have found that tongue scraping is more effective than brushing. However, tongue scraping is not a substitute for proper brushing of your teeth.

How to tongue scrape?

Rather than using a soft-bristled toothbrush, using a tongue scraper will be much more effective. Follow the steps below to learn how to properly scrape your tongue. 

  • Stand in front of a mirror with your mouth wide open and your tongue sticking out.
  • Gently place the rounded end of the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue. (If you are worried about gagging at this point, start from the middle of your tongue. Gradually move the tongue scraper back as you become more comfortable with the process.)
  • Gently and slowly pull the tongue scraper forward until you reach the tip of your tongue. (Make sure never to reverse the direction of the pulling. Always scrape towards the tip of your tongue.)
  • Use a tissue to remove the debris from the scraper after each scrape.
  • Repeat the process until you have completely scrapped the whole surface of your tongue. 
  • Once you finish, wash the tongue scraper with soap and warm water, then dry and store it in a clean area.

When you are scraping your tongue, take the following precautions:

  • Gag Reflex: To avoid vomiting during tongue scraping, do not place the scraper too far back on your tongue, especially when you first start out in the process.
  • Cuts: To prevent accidentally cutting the surface of your tongue, ensure your tongue scraper does not have any uneven or rough edges before. 
  • Mind the Pressure: Be careful of how much pressure you apply while scraping. Apply enough pressure to clean your tongue, but do not use excessive force because it may harm your taste buds or break your tongue’s surface.

Although tongue scraping can help reduce the buildup on the tongue, it is not a cure-all solution. Contact your dentist in West Des Moines as soon as possible if you need help in improving your oral health.

Plaza Dental Group

Plaza Dental Group is a leading group of dentists in Des Moines, IA that provides high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a team of caring and highly-skilled professionals that uses state-of-the-art technology and delivers excellent service to the patients. Request an appointment today!

Virtual Smile Consultation

Take the next step to a fantastic new smile with a 3 Step Virtual Consultation from your own home!

First class service, just ask our patients...

4.6
Based on 205 reviews
I have used Plaza Dental Group since I moved to West Des Moines in 2009. The welcoming staff, clean pleasant surroundings. and competent providers have served me well. My experiences have been pleasant, productive outings I approach with gratefulness at the service my mouth and teeth will receive. Thank you, wonderful Dental Group.read more
Phyllis Newton
Phyllis Newton
I had an amazing experience at Plaza Dental! Sara my dental hygienist made it even spectacular. I felt comfortable around her. She was very personable and professional. She took the time to explain the whole process and very thorough with the whole process of taking X-ray and cleaning my teeth. I was impressed by her expertise and most of all I felt as if I’d known her for years because she made me feel comfortable! Thank you Sara and the rest of the team for an amazing first time experience!read more
Winnie Lee
Winnie Lee
I finally found my dental home. I had my first consultation with Dr Dietrich today, she is genuinely nice as well as her assistant . I felt welcomed , they care about me and my dental health . I'm looking forward to my first visit in a few weeks!!!!
Cheryl Santee
Cheryl Santee
My experience is just starting but yesterday was my first day and I was treated with so much care, love & respect. They made me feel as if I was at home it was a wonderful feeling. Mind you I am terrified of dentist and here I felt so welcomed with open arms . I will be continuing to go here. So far the best place I highly recommendread more
Danielle Ceballos
Danielle Ceballos
The staff at Plaza Dental are the best. Dr. Odland and his assistant, Becca, have been amazing to work with. They have always been patient, kind, and compassionate. I was always kept comfortable during my procedures and have always had a great experience. I look forward to working with them in the future.read more
Erika Sieren
Erika Sieren
Today I had my first appointment at Plaza Dental. I am one of those patients who is extremely anxious about dental visits and I had avoided getting dental care for awhile .My hygienist Hilary was AMAZING! I'm so happy that I made the appointment and that i am on my way to wanting to show my smile again .read more
Pam Gronewold
Pam Gronewold
Dr. Dietrich is so easy to work with. She's very skilled and her assistants are always able to explain every step of the way. My implant feels great!!
Amanda Godfrey
Amanda Godfrey
I moved to Iowa at the end Of February, and have been looking for a dentist that cared about their patients. When I found Plaza Dental Group, they were able to get me right in, and my experience from the when I walked in to the office, to the time I walked out after my first visit was beyond what I could have hoped for. Dr.Odland and his staff are incredible and made me feel comfortable from start to finish. They explained the next steps regarding my next appointments, and everything that was going to take place. I feel at ease knowing that I am being taken care of. All of my appointments have been great. The front staff is great as well! I can not say enough great things about this office!read more
Jessica Ford
Jessica Ford
Thank you so much got me in fast and great help very nice staff and helped me with a problem that another dentist caused and helping me get the proper care 😁
Rachel Hinrichs
Rachel Hinrichs
My hygienist rocks, love Sarah. We have become friends through the years, she is just too sweet. But there are many great hygienists and Dr. Odland and his team took such good care of me when i broke my jaw and several teeth.
Amanda Westerhold
Amanda Westerhold
Hands down the BEST dentist I’ve ever been to. I have severe anxiety when it comes to the dentist and they were SO sweet/accommodating. Only place I will be going to for my dental needs going forward.
Breanna Bedford
Breanna Bedford
To the whole plaza dental family you guys are the best I strongly recommend you guys to every one🙂🙂🙂 really kind nice people and do the best job EVER!!! Doctor JAY JENSEN you rock and congratulations on your move,also to all the staff you ladies made me feel very comfortable thank you thank you god bless.Doctor Jay Jensen keep doing your thing🙂 and the ladies up front you guys double rock🙂🙂 thanks for opening the door for me Lol, Alvin Thanks Plaza!!!!read more
Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee
As usual, I only waited a few minutes until Talia came to bring me to the back. The treatment itself was pleasant and efficient and everybody was very friendly and helpful. I definitely recommend this place!
Martina Walther
Martina Walther
This place is the BEST. I cannot say enough about how great Lacey is and the job she does! I was so impressed by Plaza Dental Group compared to previous dentists I've visited that I won't be going anywhere else. Highly recommend Lacey, Dr. Odland, and Dr. Dietrich - they are highly educated and knowledgeable, very thorough with their care and listening to your needs, inform/explain things every step of the way, and are so enjoyable and fun to be around. Wish I could give more than 5 stars!read more
Jasenn Greiner
Jasenn Greiner
Dr Colin Odland is the best! He is very knowledgeable, patient, kind and makes sure you are doing ok as he works. I highly recommend him, especially patients that have had bad experiences with dentists in the past.
Debora Lynn
Debora Lynn
I just switched to Plaza because it’s closer to my work/home and I’d give them 100 stars if I could! My hygienist Talia had amazing attention to detail (and I’m known to be very particular) and Dr. Odland’s chairside manner was amazing. I don’t know why I didn’t come here sooner!
Derek Zarn
Derek Zarn
Plaza Dental Group
Plaza Dental Group. 1089 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Privacy Policy    Terms & Conditions    HIPAA Notice of Privacy

Copyright © 2021 DM Smiles. All Rights Reserved

Although we accept all major dental insurance plans, we currently do not accept any new Delta Wellness, Medicaid, or any other state-funded insurance.