Does Tongue Scraping Actually Work?

February 7, 2023 - By Bruce Michaelson
Does Tongue Scraping Actually Work?

Even if you have a strict oral hygiene routine by brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and dutifully visiting your dental clinic every six months, you can still miss an important step that keeps your mouth fresh and healthy.

How often do we consider the tongue part of our oral health? That fleshy collection of muscle that helps you chew, swallow, taste, and speak? This is where tongue scraping comes in as a game changer for oral health in general.

Tongue scraping has been a rather controversial subject in the dental world, as many people have misconceptions about its use and efficacy. In this article, we will devolve into the question if tongue scraping actually works and if so, how.

What Is It?

Tongue scraping is done by using devices made from plastic, copper, or stainless steel and are easily available at most pharmacies and drug stores at affordable prices. Tongue scraping is meant to remove plaque and bacteria from your tongue, thereby alleviating and maintaining its healthy properties.

Now you probably think, how does it make a difference? You can simply do the same using a toothbrush. Well, although it makes it seem like toothbrushes do the same thing as a tongue scraper, in truth, it doesn’t.

Think of it this way, if you have a dirty carpet and you scrub it, the dirt will get embedded down in there. But if you scrape it, it will come right off the surface. This is the same way a tongue scraper works.

How Effective Is It?

There are some people who use the bristles of their toothbrush as a tongue scraper, and some toothbrushes also have “tongue brushes” on the other end of the head. However, research has suggested that even toothbrushes with or without a dedicated “scraper” on the back are not as effective as an actual “Tongue scraper”. In fact, they were proven to be 30% less effective than tongue scrapers. In addition to that, Indeed, studies have also confirmed that tongue scraping can remove bacteria and improve bad breath more than brushing.

Apart from this, there are many other ways tongue scraping can actually work in enhancing your oral hygiene and even confidence in some cases.

Improved taste

Tongue scraping gives you an almost fresh palette, that you will be able to notice strong flavors the next time you eat something spicy or sweet. Studies suggest that you will be able to better distinguish sweet, sour, spicy, and sweet sensations with a proper tongue scraping routine.

Fresher Breath

Do you often get insecurities related to your breath, and think you might have to visit a dental hygienist? You should probably know there is so much odor-causing bacteria living on your tongue, and the tongue plays a big part in how your breath smells.

Tongue scraping can help you effectively overcome this problem, and in some cases conditions like halitosis can be prevented and treated with a consistent tongue scraping routine. A 2004 study found that scraping was more effective than brushing at removing odor-causing bacteria.

Improved Overall Health

Scraping your tongue can remove harmful bacteria that inflames the gums and prevents cavity formation. When these best practices for oral hygiene are overlooked, there is plenty of room for other issues like heart diseases and even cancer, needing more serious dentist attention.

Improve The Appearance Of Your Tongue

Building up of excess debris, and plaque can sometimes coat your tongue with a white layer, giving a rather pale appearance. Daily scraping can remove this coating, and with consistency can prevent it from returning.

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