As dentists, we talk quite a bit about teeth: brushing, flossing, eating right, and drinking enough water. But when did you last pay attention to your tongue during your daily brushing routine? Caring for your tongue is just as important to oral health!
One way to care for your tongue is to start a scraping routine to get rid of bacteria buildup. If you haven’t used a tongue scraper before, not to worry. Dakota Dental is here to help.
The Benefits of Tongue Scraping
While tongue scraping is seeing a resurgence in popularity, it’s actually an ancient form of hygiene. Consistent tongue scraping can help:
- Reduce bacteria that lead to bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.
- Improve your ability to taste
- Support your general oral health
- Keep your tongue looking nice and health
Alright, now that you know the benefits, let’s look at how to get the job done right!
How to Scrape Your Tongue
- After brushing your teeth, face the mirror and stick out your tongue as far as possible. It helps to do this in the mirror so you can see what you’re doing!
- Grab your tongue scraper. Now, you can buy a specialty tongue scraper for a reasonable amount (usually around $10).But if you’re not ready to make that type of commitment, you can use a spoon or your toothbrush. We recommend using a separate toothbrush from the one you use to brush — it will help offer a deeper clean. It’s also worth noting that some studies show that a toothbrush is not as effective as a dedicated tongue scraper.
- Put the rounded part of the tongue scraper as far back on the tongue as is comfortable for you. This can set off a gag reflex for some people, so experiment until you find the best placement for you. As you get more comfortable, you can move the scraper farther back, where lots of bacteria like to hide.
- Slowly and gently pull the tongue scraper forward. Don’t push down too hard, a nice gentle pressure is enough to get the job done. You don’t want your tongue to bleed or be sore. Never go from the front of your tongue toward the back; always pull from the back of the tongue forward.
- Between scrapes, wipe away any debris on the scraper. After all, we don’t want to do all that work just for food particles and bacteria to end up right where they started.
- Repeat this process across your tongue, going over each area 1-2 times until it feels clean.
- Once you’re done, wash the tongue scraper with warm water and soap. Then, wipe it down with a clean cloth and make sure it’s completely dry before putting it away — we don’t want anything growing on it!
How Often Should You Scrape Your Tongue?
You can scrape your tongue twice a day after brushing your teeth. To reduce bad breath, you can also scrape after eating or drinking.
Remember, don’t use tongue scraping in place of brushing — you still need to brush your teeth twice a day.
Let’s Take a Closer Look
Did you know: Dakota Dental patients can request a tongue scraper free of charge during their dental visits.
Tongues don’t phase us, no matter what condition they’re in. A visit with our Dakota Dental professional dentists can help with bad breath, oral health, and uncover any underlying health issues.
Whether you’re a regular visitor or it’s been a while, we’d love to see you. Our Apple Valley dental office makes our patients feel comfortable and supported. Why not come in and see for yourself?
Schedule an appointment! We cannot wait to take care of you.