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Tongue Scrapers

Tongue scrapers have been touted as a way to prevent bad breath or reduce halitosis (chronic bad breath). They are available in most drugstores in various shapes and sizes, and work by pulling the scraper forward from the back of the tongue.

Research on the effectiveness of tongue scrapers is limited. What's been published so far describes tongue scraping as temporarily effective for bad breath, but there's not enough evidence that using a tongue scraper helps with halitosis. In fact, bad breath bacteria can grow back just as fast as you remove it.

However, if you have a coated tongue — a buildup of debris, bacteria and dead cells on your tongue — tongue scraping may be helpful. A coated tongue can be caused by smoking, dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, yeast infection or certain medications.

Using a tongue scraper is not a necessary step, and some prefer to brush their tongue with a toothbrush. But brushing your tongue is good way to go an extra mile for your mouth. The most important thing is to maintain a good daily dental routine:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

  • Floss between your teeth daily.

  • Eat a healthy diet with limited sugars, and drink lots of water.

  • Schedule regular dental checkups for prevention and treatment of dental disease.

Brian Y. Kuo DDS FAGD

(626) 800-8022 👅 Maintain a healthy mouth with regular cleanings!


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