Oral hygiene: What is a tongue scraper and how useful is it to use?

A tongue scraper is a small instrument used to clean the tongue.

Oral hygiene: What is a tongue scraper and how useful is it to use?

A tongue scraper is a small instrument used to clean the tongue. The purpose of the application is to reduce plaque on the tongue and thus improve oral hygiene. Because the fact is: Millions of tiny bacteria live on our tongues, which break down food residues and produce sulfur in the process - and you can smell it: Bad breath is the result of coatings on the tongue. If these are removed (or at least reduced) by the tongue cleaner, our breath should also smell better. But does that work? And how do you use a tongue cleaner correctly?

In Asia, such as India, many people use tongue scrapers made of metal (stainless steel, silver or copper). They are easy to clean and therefore particularly durable. In Europe, on the other hand, most drugstore chains have so far only sold tongue cleaners made of plastic: They are much cheaper to buy, but also have a shorter shelf life - because they are not as easy to clean as toothbrushes are.

Regardless of the material, all tongue scrapers have one thing in common: their shape, which adapts perfectly to the anatomy of the tongue. Whether curved or U-shaped - all models are narrow and flat so that you can remove the coating (without triggering the gag reflex) especially in the back area of ​​the tongue. Because the fact is: Less bacteria collect in the front area of ​​the tongue, since it touches your palate when speaking and swallowing and thus remains "cleaner".

Ideally, use the tongue cleaner twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening - always after brushing your teeth. Proceed as follows:

Another tip: Put a small amount of toothpaste with antimicrobial ingredients on the tongue scraper (or on your tongue) before you start cleaning.

So far there are no scientific studies that prove that a tongue scraper (regardless of whether it is made of metal or plastic) can really reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. According to the product test, however, the deposits on the tongue are noticeably reduced - according to a dentist who took a closer look at the cleaning effect. For this reason, buying a tongue cleaner can make sense to improve oral hygiene and avoid bad breath.

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