Cleaning the tongue is as important as cleaning the teeth, as it will remove all the extra particles and reduce bacteria and food debris on the tongue. As a result, this process can help reduce bad breath and tongue coatings. The most common way to do this is after brushing the teeth with the same brush, but did you know that there are special tools to clean the tongue properly?
The tools are called tongue scrapers and can come in many formats. The most popular and effective are the following:
- Brush tongue scrapers: They look like a toothbrush with a longer handle, and on the tip, there are ridges or short bristles to scrape along the tongue. It is important to note that they’re not big enough to cover the whole tongue at once, so rubbing it along a few times will be necessary. When used regularly, replacing them every 3 to 4 months is recommended.
- Plastic tongue scrapers: They are simpler and usually cheaper, being basically a thin plastic wire bent into a U-shape that fits the tongue wide.
- Metal tongue scrapers: These are also U-shaped but in metal wire. The good thing is that it typically lasts longer than plastic ones, but that depends on the manufacturer. It also has antibacterial properties that might be a plus if made of copper.
In conclusion, cleaning the tongue with the proper tool can have many benefits, like clearing toxins, bacteria, and dead cells from the tongue to prevent bad breath, enhancing the sense of taste, promoting overall oral and digestive health, and increasing the awareness of your state of health with one simple habit after brushing the teeth.
About the Author: MSci Maísa Melo is a Pharmacist and a current PhD student in cosmetic technology, from São Paulo, Brazil. She has earned her master’s degree from the University of São Paulo and has been involved with the development, stability, safety and efficacy of cosmetics since 2013. She has specialized in the clinical efficacy of cosmetics by biophysical and skin imaging techniques as well as the use of alternative models to animal testing. Her research work has been published in several scientific journals and book chapters from the field.