A lot of work goes into maintaining a smile that is healthy and attractive. Most people are aware of the basic oral hygiene habits that support good oral health, such as oral care at home and general dentistry services, including routine dental exams and cleanings. However, there is another practice that can be a great addition to any oral hygiene routine.
Tongue scraping is an ancient practice that can reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, improving a patient’s oral health and reducing the risk of dental complications. At Fort Bend Dental, our team of experienced dentists is happy to discuss the benefits of tongue scrapers with our Missouri, TX patients. We encourage anyone who is interested in giving this habit a try to contact us to learn more about the link between tongue scrapers and oral health.
What Is Tongue Scraping?
Even though tongue scraping has been practiced for hundreds of years, most people do not engage in this oral hygiene practice. Tongue scraping can be traced back to Ayurvedic traditions, as well as Chinese medicine. In recent years, it has also gained a western following. Tongue scraping is a simple cleaning technique. Using a tongue scraper, which is a long-handled device with a plastic or metal scraper on the end, the patient starts at the back of the tongue and gently pulls the tongue scraper forward. The tongue scraper removes the film that tends to build up on the tongue. This film may contain bacteria, tiny food particles, toxins, and dead cells.
Benefits of Tongue Scrapers
Brushing and flossing is the best way to loosen bacteria and food particles from the teeth. While these practices are great at protecting the teeth from tooth decay and infection, they don’t actually completely remove these harmful materials from the mouth. Almost half of oral bacteria live in the crevices of the tongue. If the tongue is not cleaned, bacteria will multiply and oral health can be compromised.
Tongue scrapers clean the tongue to provide patients with the following benefits:
- Reduce halitosis: Bacteria is the number one cause of halitosis, or persistent bad breath. By removing bacteria from the tongue, tongue scrapers can provide patients with fresher, cleaner breath.
- Improve oral health: Any bacteria in the mouth, even those on the tongue, poses a threat to the teeth and gums. Tongue scrapers reduce the overall number of bacteria in the mouth to improve oral health.
- Enhance the taste buds: The film that develops on the tongue can block taste buds, which can dull the senses and make the taste of foods unrecognizable. Tongue scrapers can open the pores of the taste buds to enhance flavors.
- Support digestive health: Digestion starts in the mouth with the taste buds and saliva. Tongue scrapers can unblock the taste buds and promote saliva production, both of which promote a healthy digestive system.
Schedule an Appointment
While brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping offer numerous benefits, no oral hygiene routine is complete without professional dental care. To learn more about the comprehensive dental services offered at Fort Bend Dental, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.