Tongue scraping is a practice that involves using a specially designed tool, called a tongue scraper or tongue cleaner, to clean the surface of your tongue. The goal is to remove debris, bacteria, dead cells, and food particles from the tongue’s surface. This practice is part of oral hygiene and is believed to offer several benefits, including fresher breath, improved oral health, and enhanced taste perception.
Improved Oral Hygiene: Tongue scraping can help remove food particles, bacteria, dead cells, and other debris from the surface of your tongue. This can improve overall oral hygiene and reduce the risk of bad breath (halitosis).
Fresher Breath: By removing the bacteria and debris that can contribute to bad breath, tongue scraping can help you maintain fresher breath throughout the day.
Enhanced Taste Perception: Cleaning your tongue can improve your ability to taste flavors because it removes the buildup of debris that can interfere with your taste buds.
Promotes Healthy Gums: Removing bacteria from the tongue can reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth, which may help support healthy gums and reduce the risk of gum disease.
Prevents Plaque and Tartar: Regular tongue scraping can contribute to better overall oral health by reducing the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth.
Improved Digestion: In some traditional medicine systems, it’s believed that tongue scraping can help stimulate the digestive system by removing toxins and bacteria from the mouth. While the evidence for this is limited, it’s a potential additional benefit for some individuals.
Enhanced Appearance: A clean tongue can have a pink and healthy appearance, which can contribute to overall oral aesthetics.
To effectively use a tongue scraper:
- Start at the back of your tongue and gently scrape from the back towards the front. Be sure to avoid scraping too aggressively to prevent irritation.
- Rinse the scraper after each pass to remove debris.
- Repeat the process 2-3 times, and be thorough in cleaning the entire surface of your tongue.
- Clean your tongue scraper after use by washing it with warm water and soap.