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5 Reasons You Should Be Embracing the Tongue Scraper

The tongue not only helps us mash and chew food, it’s also responsible for letting us experience the soothing bitter of black coffee, the tart snap of sour apple, and the deep richness of perfectly cooked steak — it’s time we start showing it the love it deserves come cleaning time.

For centuries, we humans have been brushing and flossing our way to better breath to avoid the sudden stank-face and awkward conversations associated with halitosis. You may think you’re doing plenty by brushing the surface of your tongue when you brush your teeth, but to properly pamper this little muscle, you need to amp up your arsenal with a tool that Eastern cultures have been embracing as part of effective oral hygiene since ancient times: the tongue scraper.  Here are five reasons why you

should be scraping your tongue

every day:

It’s Better Than Bristles

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Halitosis is typically caused by bacteria that congregate to feast on the bounty of postnasal drip that regularly collects at the back of your tongue. As they chow down, the bacteria leave behind a cocktail of compounds that produce that familiar, face-twisting bad breath bite. To build a proper defense against these compounds, you need the right tool. While a toothbrush is perfectly designed to bend and scrub around the hard surfaces of your teeth, its soft bristles just don’t cut it on the textured, flexible surface of the tongue.  The sturdiness of a scraper means it can easily dislodge bacteria and debris from the tiny bumps and valleys on your tongue, and recent studies have shown that

should be scraping your tongue

swap can result in up to a 30 percent decrease in the production of compounds that cause bad breath.

It Gets Rid of Ghost Tongue

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Appearance isn’t everything, but let’s face it: the pale film that develops on the top of an untamed tongue doesn’t look good on anyone.  This film is caused by debris that is deposited on the surface of your tongue as your digestive system de-toxifies after a hard day’s work.  Boost your oral hygiene routine by

adding a tongue scraper

and boost your appearance at the same time: as the scraper removes the bacteria and debris, your tongue will return to its happy, healthy, perfectly-pink self!

It Makes a Great Travel Buddy

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Whether it’s a road trip, business trip, or just a touch of wanderlust, you can’t always expect to take your grooming routine with you wherever you go.  While you may not be able to bring your full grooming arsenal on every trip, a tongue scraper makes a perfect travel buddy no matter where you’re going or how you’re getting there.  Light, compact, and made of metal or plastic, they can be easily slipped into a bag or pocket for easy travel.  You don’t have to break your bucket list budget to bring this little pal along, either – you can

should be scraping your tongue

 for less than $10

It Helps Keep Your Motor Running

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Starting your day with a tongue scraping isn’t just a great way to keep the horrors of halitosis at bay — the benefits of this quick addition to your morning routine stay with you all day long.  Scraping the surface of your tongue activates saliva production, getting your juices flowing first thing in the morning and aiding in digestion throughout your entire day.

It’s Faster Than Typing an Email

Image used with permission by copyright holder

A proper tongue scraping only takes a matter of seconds: push the end of the scraper to the back of your tongue, press down gently, and pull forward. Repeat this process until the scrape is clean and you’ve done your whole mouth a world of good in less time than it will take you to reply to your first email of the day.

adding a tongue scraper

Article originally published February 25, 2017. Last updated July 26, 2018.

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LeeAnn Whittemore
Former Digital Trends Contributor
LeeAnn Whittemore is a writer, artist, and graphic designer who grew up in the Midwest before moving to the Gulf Coast. As a…
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