by Brianna Allison
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Brianna Allison. Find her on Instagram at @ballison7. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
We’ve always been told to make sure that we brush our teeth twice a day, floss, and regularly visit the dentist. In spite of all this, that might not be enough. As you eat, drink, sleep and talk, bacteria builds up on the papillae, or the little bumps on the tongue, “that allow you to taste and feel textures in your mouth.” While some of the bacteria in your mouth can be beneficial, others can cause major issues, such as gum disease, cavities and bad breath. This bad bacteria needs to be removed and unfortunately, brushing your tongue just isn’t enough. There is an essential tool to take your oral hygiene to the next level and it is a tongue scraper.
Well, what is a tongue scraper? It is a flat metal or plastic “U” supported by two handles that you run along your tongue to easily remove the layers of build up. Now, you might not think that taking care of your tongue is that important, but using a tongue scaper can greatly affect your overall oral health. So what are some tongue scraper benefits?
The benefits of a tongue scraper
A tongue scraper is the perfect tool to be added to your morning routine because it gets rid of all the bacteria that has accumulated on your tongue from the previous day and overnight. Using one on a daily basis has many advantages such as:
The dead cells and debris on your tongue that cause bad breath can get trapped amongst the papillae on the surface of the tongue. So, when you use a tongue scraper, you’re removing the sulfur-producing bacteria and minimizing the stench in your mouth. Although brushing your tongue does help, a tongue scraper is proven to remove even more bacteria and achieve fresh breath.
Over time, mucus can develop and build up on your tongue. All of the extra layers of debris can block taste buds and skew how you taste things. To remedy this, studies show that scraping the tongue twice a day improves taste. After two weeks of using a tongue scraper, there was a decrease of bacteria and coating on the tongue. This maximizes taste and allows users to better distinguish between bitter, sweet, salty, and sour flavors.
Better digestion and higher immunity
The process of digestion starts in the mouth. As you eat, enzymes in your saliva break down food for easy digestion. A lot of your food is digested overnight. As this process happens, excess toxins are released and end up settling in the mouth. As the bacteria builds up, the immune system weakens, and those toxins can reenter your body. By scraping your tongue, you’re removing those toxins. Scraping also produces more saliva which, in turn, creates more enzymes. More enzymes aid important functions in the body, such as digestion.
Tongue Scraping 101 – How to use it
If you’re interested in adding a tongue scraper into your daily routine but you’re not sure where to start, check out this easy breakdown!
- Start by brushing and flossing as you normally would.
- Next, stick out your tongue.
- Then, take your tongue scraper and place the rounded side as far back on your tongue as you comfortably can. If you start to gag, try starting in the middle of your tongue.
- Add some slight pressure and scrape with one long stroke from the back to the tip of your tongue. Never scrape from the tip to the back of your tongue. Also, pay attention to the amount of pressure that you’re applying. If your tongue starts to hurt, apply less pressure.
- Rinse the scraper off and repeat the process until your tongue looks and feels clean. This typically takes about 5-10 strokes.
- When you’re finished, make sure to clean the tongue scraper with warm water and soap and store it in a clean area.
- Now all that you have to do is watch as your overall oral health improves!
Where you can buy one of your own
You can buy a tongue scraper essentially anywhere that sells oral hygiene products. They can either be plastic or metal, but they are all relatively inexpensive. They typically range from $4.00-$15.00 depending on the type and quality that you purchase.
The metal scrapers tend to last longer and are easier to clean because some of them are dishwasher-safe. The plastic ones have to be replaced more frequently, but they are usually cheaper. Here’s some of the top-selling ones from Amazon:
If you decide to buy a tongue scraper, you can’t go wrong! Any of them are going to significantly improve your oral hygiene and the cleanliness of your tongue.
I bought a metal tongue scraper about 8 months ago at Marshall’s, and it was only $4.00. I bought it on a whim because I never felt like I could get my tongue clean enough. Also, I was always self conscious about having bad breath. So I read the description on the back quickly and purchased it since it was so cheap. What could it hurt to try?
Turns out that it’s one of the best purchases that I’ve made because there are so many oral health benefits. I tell everyone to buy one, and I mean everyone. I even told my family I’d buy each of them one for Christmas because tongue scrapers have made such a difference in my oral health and my confidence. So if you’re looking to worry less about bad breath or improve your oral hygiene go buy one now!
Have you tried incorporating a tongue scraper into your daily routine? Let us know in the comments below what you think about them and any other tongue scraper benefits you’ve found!