Your dentist harps on brushing and flossing, but has s/he ever mentioned tongue scraping? Tongue scraping is the unsung hero of dental health.
An unscraped tongue is unhygienic, smelly, and bad for the health of the rest of your body.
If you’re not tongue scraping, the good news is this: it’s incredibly simple and takes seconds to do.
Here are six great reasons to tongue scrape:
1. Enhance the Flavors of Your Food
Tongue scraping enhances your taste buds and the flavors you experience by removing the gunk that builds up on your tongue. When your tongue is coated in this buildup, you can’t fully expose your taste buds and fully experience the wonderful flavors in your food.
2. Improve Heart Health
Poor dental hygiene is linked to cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes and infertility. You might think, I have great dental hygiene! But if you’re not tongue scraping, that’s an awfully large surface in the mouth to leave uncleaned.
3. Prevent Cavities
By cleaning your tongue, especially the back part, you remove bacteria and toxins responsible for plaque. This translates into less plaque buildup on your teeth, which prevents against tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
4. Get Rid of Bad Breath
Some studies estimate that 80 to 95% of bad breath comes from the build-up of food, bacteria, fungi, and dead cells that buildup at the back of the tongue. The front of your tongue might look pink and healthy, but stick your tongue out in front of the mirror and examine it way in the back. You’ll see white, yellow, or even brown buildup way back there — and people can smell it (not to mention see it when you laugh out loud).
5. Boost Your Immune System
Scraping your tongue will prevent toxins from getting reabsorbed by your body. Tongue scraping is especially crucial while you’re sick since a lot of gunk from coughing, sneezing, or sucking on cough drops or other medicines can build up on the back of the tongue.
6. Improve Your Digestive Health
Tongue scraping and a clean tongue both promote saliva production, which helps with your digestion.
Bonus Reason #7: It’s Dead Simple
Tongue scraping takes seconds. Once you see the gunk that comes off your tongue, you’ll never go back!
My favorite tongue scraper and the one I use is Dr. Tung’s. It’s made out of stainless steel, which feels more hygienic than plastic ones I’ve used. It’s also a gentler and deeper scrape than many of the other plastic tongue scrapers I’ve tried which have ridges on them. The most important thing is to choose one that’s comfortable for you and that you enjoy using.
Here’s my how-to tongue scrape video when you’re ready to get started.
Did I miss any other good reasons you like to tongue scrape? Let me know with a comment below!
Mark Burhenne DDS