Everyone experiences bad breath from time to time, which is why most of us keep mints, gum or alcohol-free mouthwash on hand to combat this issue. However, some people have a bigger problem with halitosis than others, and they may need to think outside the box when it comes to figuring out ways to combat it. If you're one of these people, there is one simple thing you can do to help yourself out - get a tongue scraper and start using it!
New Straits Times recently spoke to health experts who explained that cleaning the tongue is a major part of keeping bad breath at bay, yet many individuals skip this important step. Even people who are meticulous about brushing and flossing may experience halitosis if they don't use a tongue scraper. That's because brushing and flossing only take care of the hard surfaces of the mouth, which amount to about 23 percent of the total mouth area.
Why should you scrape?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), tongue scrapers come in various shapes and sizes, and they should be used starting at the back of the tongue and scraping forward. The goal is to remove the bacteria that grow on the back of the tongue, which can be difficult to reach with normal brushing, especially if you have a sensitive gag reflex.
TheBrush.com also offers some reasons why a tongue scraper should be part of your normal oral health routine.
"The body releases toxins while we sleep. Many of these toxins deposit themselves on the surface of our tongue. (Gross!) Scraping the tongue each morning removes the toxins. Tongue scraping also boosts the immune system by warding off sinus infections and promotes dental health," according to the news source.
How to scrape properly
If you do purchase a tongue scraper, don't waste it by using it incorrectly. First, like the ADA recommends, it's important to start and the back of the tongue and work your way forward. Doing it the other way around will just push the bacteria back into your mouth. Gently scrape seven to 10 times, and make sure to cover the entire tongue.
So if you've been experiencing particularly bad breath, consider getting a tongue scraper, and follow the basic rules of dental health - brush, floss and use alcohol-free mouthwash regularly.