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Family Care Dental Clinic

The Unsung Hero of Oral Health: Tongue Scraping

The Unsung Hero of Oral Health: Tongue Scraping

Some people might have missed there is an almost-miraculous at-home remedy to banish morning breath: tongue scraping. We can assure you again that this quick, simple, and extremely inexpensive (at about $4 to $10 for a tongue cleanser) at-home remedy is the unsung hero of oral health!

Finally! A Cure for Morning Breath

We all know about, and to some extent suffer from, morning breath. Well, it just so happens that tongue scraping is one of the best remedies for halitosis, period! And if you scrape regularly, especially before bed, your morning breath will be drastically reduced.

The soft, spongy, bumpy texture of the tongue is the perfect little breeding ground for bacteria—which is exactly what you’ll be scraping off your tongue, along with various other toxins. This bacteria is odour-causing. So, the less bacteria, the less smell.

Kim Shamoun, a veteran registered dental hygienist and fellow tongue scraping zealot, says “I can’t live without tongue scraping. Without a doubt, it should be a part of our daily oral hygiene regimen. I stress to my patients, friends, family and strangers alike how important it really is. A tongue scraper is the one thing I would want with me on a deserted island. Forget the lipstick!”

More Reasons To Become A Tongue Scraping Enthusiast

Taste: Housing our taste buds is the tongue’s best-known role. But when your tongue is coated in gunk, your taste buds have no chance to fully enjoy that wild mushroom risotto, molten chocolate cake or any other delicious morsel. And decreased taste actually leads to decreased.

Plaque: The more soft plaque you have on your tongue, the more hard plaque will form on your teeth. This leads to – yup – bad breath, but also tooth decay! Every time I go for my biannual teeth cleaning, my dentist compliments me on my home oral care. She’s actually told me, “There’s really no plaque here for me to clean.” Thank you, tongue scraping!

Digestion: We all know that digestion begins in the mouth. Saliva is filled with enzymes that start breaking down food, not to mention chewing. The cleaner the mouth, the better you can taste your food (i.e., the more “mouth-watering” it is) and the better your digestion is!

Overall health: According to the Mayo Clinic, oral bacteria and poor oral hygiene are linked to several other diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even infertility. At less than a minute a day, tongue scraping is the ultimate time optimizing oral cure.

Correct Tool for Tongue Scraping

You may read this and say, “I do clean my tongue, with my toothbrush!” Well, your heart’s in the right place, but you’ve got the wrong tool in your hand. “An ordinary toothbrush is not recommended; it does not remove the micro-organisms from the tongue properly,” says Shamoun. Just as the malleable surface of your multibristled toothbrush is optimal for cleaning the hard surface of your teeth, you need a solid surface to really clean the squishy surface of your tongue; and a stainless steel u-shaped tongue scraper is exactly that. Here at Family Care Dental Clinic, our favourite is Dr. Tung’s stainless steel tongue scrapers, while other doctors recommend Breath Rx.

A Basic Tongue Scraping How-to

While tongue scraping is extremely quick and simple, timing does matter. Ideally, you want to tongue scrape as soon upon waking as possible — before you’ve eaten anything, drank anything or brushed your teeth. Just open wide so you don’t hit your teeth with the scraper. Then, stick your tongue out and, starting from the back, glide the scraper over your entire tongue. Rinse it after each scrape. Do this at least five times, and/or until your scrapes come up clean. The cleaner the scrapes, the more gunk you’ve gotten off! You may want to do it in the bathroom mirror, over the sink at first, so you can make sure you are getting to the back of your tongue. Then, once you’re familiar with the feeling, you can do it sans mirror.

The most posterior portion of the tongue collects the most buildup, so you really have to make sure you reach far back. The frequency should be a regular basis, morning and evening. In addition to morning scraping, tongue scrape at bedtime is a must-do — right before you brush teeth. You’ll be appalled to see what accumulates on your tongue in the course of the day, but even more appreciative to get rid of it!

Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!

Located in the heart of North Vancouver, BC, Family Care Dental Clinic is a group of passionate dentists and dental experts who are committed to providing patients with exceptional dental care in a modern and relaxing environment. We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family.

Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!

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