Ask a Dentist

January 27, 2023

Q: Should I Use A Tongue Scraper? Is It Important?

Lady in a bathroom scraping her tongue in the mirror

Even if you’ve been diligent in your oral hygiene routine - brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing regularly and dutifully visiting your dentist every six months - you could still be missing a step that helps keep your mouth clean and fresh. 

Have you ever thought about tending to your tongue, the muscular organ in your mouth that allows you to taste and speak? Millions of bacteria can build up on your tongue over time, and these tongue bacteria can lead to bad breath. 

Benefits Of Using A Tongue Scraper

One way to clean your tongue is by using a tongue scraper. You can buy many types of tongue cleaners, from plastic to metal, at your local convenience or grocery store. A reason we suggest you use a tongue scraper instead of your regular toothbrush is because your toothbrush’s bristles are specifically designed to clean the smooth surface of your teeth. Your tongue, on the other hand, has a rough surface covered in little bumps called papillae, so a regular toothbrush may not do a thorough cleaning job.

How To Use A Tongue Scraper

You can use a scraper before or after brushing your teeth. Your tongue is sensitive, so be sure to press the cleaner gently across your tongue. Other general cleaning tips include:

  • Rinsing your tongue cleaner before and after use to remove any bacteria or food debris that may be present
  • Cleaning the back of your tongue as well, gently working your way forward
  • Scrape and clean the top and sides of your tongue, not just the centre
  • Rinse your mouth after cleaning your tongue

If your tongue begins to give off visual clues that it’s not healthy such as white, black or red discolouration or sores or pain that lasts for over two weeks, make an appointment with Dental Image Therapy Centres for treatment. We have two Winnipeg dental clinics at St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre. Ready to take control of your oral health? Book an appointment with us today!

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Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!

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