What are tongue scrapers?
Having good oral hygiene does not need to be wasteful. Aside from bamboo toothbrushes and non-toxic toothpaste, I never thought about devices to clean your tongue. However, after doing some research, they can be very beneficial in oral hygiene and you don’t have to compromise your zero-waste journey.
Tongue scrapers are tools used to remove excess bacteria and cells on your tongue. There are both stainless steel and plastic tongue scrapers. Using a stainless steel tongue scraper is not only more effective but more sustainable as well. Stainless steel tools such as these can last a lifetime, and be more effective at getting rid of excess bacteria. Tongue scrapers have been used for centuries and have been proven to be effective.
The benefits of cleaning your tongue
There are multiple benefits of using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. One of the biggest benefits that are commonly associated with tongue scrapers is that they aid with bad breath. While this is true, it does not get rid of it entirely. If you are consistent with it, it will obviously reduce your bad breath. It will give you temporary relief from your morning breath and not last throughout the whole day. Consistency is key.
Removing bacteria is another added benefit. Helping out with bad breath is the removal of bacteria called VSC’s (volatile sulfur compounds). Tongue scrapers as well remove the bacteria that can cause dental decay.
Another potential benefit of using a tongue scraper is that it can improve your taste buds. Removing excess debris on your tongue, it could enhance your sweet, salty, savory or sour sensations.
There have been studies done over the past couple of decades into just how effective tongues scrapers are, however a lot of these studies can’t really be super certain whether or not they are more or less beneficial say than the back of your toothbrush due to the small population sizes of these studies.
Overall, tongue scrapers can only improve your gum and mouth health by being environmentally conscious.
How to use a tongue scraper
- Can be done after brushing and flossing your teeth or when desired
- Open your mouth, stick your tongue out, and put the curved end to the back of your tongue
- Press on the tongue and gently scrape forwards to remove any bacteria
- Always go back to front or start middle to front, but do not go from front to back
Where to find
Stainless steel tongue scrapers can be found at your local zero-waste bulk store, The Tare Shop.
If you want to learn more about sustainable oral and gum care, head over to Healthline for their 10 favourite sustainable oral care products.