Toothbrushes, dental floss and mouthwash tend to appear in most people's medicine cabinets almost without fail. But for some reason, many Americans don't own a tongue scraper. It's unclear why this is so, since studies have shown that these simple little instruments may put a huge dent in bad breath.
It's not like this is late-braking new, either. Humans have known for centuries that scraping the tongue clean of gunk can freshen breath and clean the palate, but somehow this knowledge has been obscured over the past few decades.
Are schools failing their students? Are there not enough public health campaigns out there that focus on tongue scrapers? The answer to both of these questions is probably: No.
It's pretty clear what tongue scraping can do, and these implements are available in virtually every grocery store and pharmacy from here to Antarctica. So why don't we use them more?
Simply put, it's one extra step in our nightly oral health routine, and many people are admittedly just too lazy to take the time to scrape their tongues. Just think about how many folks forgo flossing, even though this simple activity radically reduces bad breath and tooth decay! So clearly, tongue scrapers have a big hurdle to clear in the form of good old fashioned American sloth.
However, studies have shown that tongue scrapers can quickly and easily reduce halitosis, often with just a few seconds of use. And if there's one thing we like in this country, it's a shortcut.
And what a shortcut! One study published by The Cochrane Library even found that tongue cleaning reduces bad breath better than brushing! So by using both in tandem, you can knock out halitosis like never before.