In bathrooms all across the world, toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, and packets of floss are being joined by another item: the tongue scraper. If your parents were being thorough when they taught you to brush your teeth, they should have told you to brush your tongue too. Even if you have followed this bit of advice your whole life, you might not have realized that you could take your clean mouth one step further.
What is a Tongue Scraper
Tongue scrapers come in a few shapes and sizes. Most have a long plastic handle and a round flat end with small bumps or bristles that act as the ‘scraping’ edge. Some are simply long flat pieces of stainless steel bent into an arch with two small handles at either end. All models have the same purpose, however; to reach the back of your tongue and remove the filmy white buildup of plaque and bacteria left behind by food and drink debris. Tongue scrapers have been used since ancient times in Russia and India, where they were well known for their ability to remove unnatural substances from the tongue, and freshen breath.
Health Benefits of the Tongue Scraper
Numerous studies have established the efficacy of tongue scrapers in removing harmful bacteria and plaque from the tongue, especially as compared to toothbrushes or other tools. The benefits of removing these bacteria range from significantly improving bad breath, to reducing the risk of gum disease. Ninety percent of the time persistent bad breath, or halitosis, is the result of a buildup of bacteria on the tongue . While mouthwashes and brushing can help put a dent in the problem, tongue scrapers have been shown to be the most effective means of removing bacteria from the tongue. The best news is that they don’t only remove the bacteria that cause bad breath, but bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease as well.
Keeping Mouths Healthy in Chicago
At home care is the most important way to maintain a healthy mouth, but don’t forget to schedule regular appointments with your Lake Forest dentist as well. To get in touch with our Lake Forest dental office please give us a call at (847)234-0517. We look forward to hearing from you, and welcome patients from the Chicago Metro area.