Plaza Dental Group 515 612 7148  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!

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4.5
Based on 156 reviews
Susie does a great job. She makes sure I'm comfortable and makes sure I'm happy with service. Whole office is very professional and personable. Answers any questions and is straight forward about plans and payment options.
reaven 435
reaven 435
Huge shout out to Lacey! You really make going to the dentist less stressful with your positive energy and your desire to get to know your client on a personal level…Great job and thank you!
Scott Loecke
Scott Loecke
Great dental office in West DM! Susie was awesome and did great work, even let me pick the music! They obviously care about client experience here and I am glad to have found this gem of a dentist.
Jared Winkers
Jared Winkers
I’ve been so impressed and grateful for the care I’ve received at Plaza Dental! From cleanings to potential periodontal issues, Lacey and Dr. J have been on top of my progress. Highly educated, thorough, incredibly friendly, and patient-focused. I would highly recommend them!
Cynthia Shidler
Cynthia Shidler
The Plaza Dental staff is just the BEST! I always enjoy coming in for my cleanings and my Invisalign appointments. I always feel at home like I'm a part of the family. Thank you all for that. A big shoutout to Dr. Dietrich, Susan (Suzie), and Noel. I love you guys so much!!!! Thank you all for your contribution on this journey to a beautiful smile. Xoxo!!!!read more
Savion Solé
Savion Solé
My experience was amazing! Everyone was so kind and answered all my questions. I am usually one who has a fear of dentist, but I felt so comfortable and relaxed which I have never experienced at a dental office before.
Taylor Moore
Taylor Moore
My experience with the Plaza Dental Group has been amazing! The receptionist was delightful when I initially called to schedule my appointment. She had me laughing. I was warmly greeted and didn't have to wait long. They were non judgemental and thorough in my initial examination. I was given a detailed plan of action to address my issues. Today my appointment with Dr. Odland was excellent. He has the most gentle touch by the way. A must in a Dentist in my opinion. Aaron a future dentist helped make me comfortable and he assisted Dr. Odland perfectly while keeping me comfortable throughout the process. My overall experience has been wonderful. I highly recommend this experienced group of professionals. They've got a lifelong client with me.read more
MS Cacklebottom
MS Cacklebottom
Lacey does an amazing job- highly recommend her for hygiene needs. Also- Dr. Jay is hands down the best dentist I’ve ever seen. These folks deal with your anxiety in a positive way, are supportive and helpful — and you leave there feeling better and definitely being a little more proud of your smile!read more
Nick Ryan
Nick Ryan
I always have THE best experiences at Plaza Dental. The entire staff is amazing and friendly. Especially Susie and Noel who are simply THE best! I highly recommend for regular dental visits and I was highly impressed with my Invisalign treatment. I actually look forward to going to the dentist now! Love it!read more
Jamie Petersen
Jamie Petersen
I recently had cosmetic surgery. Dr. Dietrich and her assistant Joel were so professional and did excellent work. I am beyond pleased with my new smile!
LR Meyer
LR Meyer
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
This place is amazing. I feel the most comfortable and at ease here over any dental office I've ever been to and I've been around the block. Lacey is best although one time she wore white after labor day, but I won't fault her for that.
David Prins
David Prins
My dental hygienist, Sara, is the kindest person to work with. She is honest with her overview and analysis. She is friendly and happy to talk to you. I’ve never had a bad experience at Plaza and would recommend anyone come in for a consult or to be a new client with the dental practice. Thank you Sara for all that you do!read more
Kevin Black
Kevin Black
I would recommend to anyone! Great and friendly staff.Really put me at ease.Kept me well informed during my visit as to what procedure was being done.Great experience overall.
Dave Gates
Dave Gates
Professional, really caring team!! It’s awesome to be able to receive such expert care and most procedures can be taken care of in one place. Highly recommend this great place!!!! So kind and helpful.
Amy Gionis
Amy Gionis
They are the best! I do not like going to the dentist. I think most people don't. My dental hygienists, Sara, is amazing! She very quick but very thorough. My teeth look great when I leave and I am in and out quickly, which I appreciate. The dentist are all wonderful and I trust them. They also have wonderful whitening options. Been going for several years now and I'm never disappointed.read more
Katie Petersen
Katie Petersen
I highly recommend! They have the friendliest staff and are so professional and seem very knowledgeable! I had the boost whitening done and loved the results.
Taylor Brummer
Taylor Brummer
Dr. Odland is the best dentist I've ever had! He was so comfortable and personable. He transformed my smile in just 30 minutes and I've never felt more confident. Thank you!!
Alexa Wolfe
Alexa Wolfe
The Staff and Doctors are friendly, courteous, and professional. I no longer have "Dentist" phobia. Early morning appointments are greatly appreciated.
Donald Ryan
Donald Ryan
Plaza Dental Group
Plaza Dental Group. 1089 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

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