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

Jan 28, 2021
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.

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.