We’ve all heard of the importance of tongue scraping and its benefits, but do we really understand why we should clean our tongue, and the most optimal way to do so? Today, we’ll discuss the importance and benefits of tongue scraping and why this habit should be included in your brushing routine.
So why should we clean our tongues?
Your tongue is composed of a complex network of raised nubs called taste buds. Humans have over 10,000 taste buds that get replaced almost every two weeks. While we typically associate them with providing the sensation of taste, they’re also the perfect home for bacteria that causes bad breath. Smoking, Alcohol Use and Dry Mouth can also inhibit the production of saliva which helps fight the bacteria that is produced on your taste buds.
Cleaning your tongue with a tongue scraper allows for stuck on food particles and bacteria to be scraped away by manual action, promoting a cleaner healthier mouth.
What exactly are tongue scrapers?
Tongue scrapers come in several different shapes and sizes and are designed to fit the contours and shape of your tongue. The scraping action helps remove the layer of food particles and bacteria that cling to your taste buds.
What are some of the benefits of tongue scrapers?
- Reduce Bacteria — As mentioned above, your tongue is the perfect home for millions of bacteria to reside. These bacteria enter your mouth when you breath, eat and sleep! These colonies of bacteria can cause oral diseases such as gingivitis, periodontal disease and oral thrush. Regular cleaning sessions of your tongue help to remove bacteria and reduce the risk of these oral diseases
- Better Breath — Bad breath can be caused by an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your mouth. Tongue scrapers help scrape away bad bacteria, promoting better breath overall
- Improved Visibility — The color and texture of your tongue allows physicians to indicate health risks and is an important factor in physician diagnostics. Discoloration of the tongue can indicate vitamin deficiencies or indicate the presence of certain diseases. Regular tongue scraping allows for the top layer of food particles and bacteria to be scraped away revealing a more visible tongue overall and reducing discoloration due to a build up of bacteria
- Increased Taste — We saved the best for last, right? Cleaning your tongue regularly allows your taste buds to become refreshed, cleaning old food and tastes from the surface of your tongue. Refreshing your palate removes compounds that block taste receptors.