Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why a Tongue Scraper is a Must

By Alan Rawlings

In recent years, the use of the tongue scraper has increased in popularity, and with good reason. They're very effective. Many people mistake the root of bad breath and assume it's caused by eating the wrong foods, or that it lives in the teeth and gums. While this is true, the main source of bad breath comes from the back part of the tongue.

There are small buds on the back of the tongue known as papillae. If you look at the back of your tongue closely, you'll see that it's not at all flat. Inside these grooves live small bacteria, and these act as the main cause of bad breath as we know it. Part of the reason for this is due to the lack of oxygen these bacteria receive since they're buried within the ridges inside your tongue. The small amount of oxygen results can in really bad smells.

There are methods for temporarily killing or masking these bacteria, but they're expensive and only temporary. While they're effective to an extent, the individual most effective method involved is the use of a tongue scraper. Why spend money trying to temporarily kill off bacteria when you can simply remove them?

Not only will the use of a tongue scraper be the most effective means or preventing bad breath, but it'll also be the cheapest. Some people try to avoid the cost of paying for a tongue scraper by using their toothbrush, but this isn't a wise move for the following reasons:

1. It's very, very difficult to get a toothbrush to reach the back of your tongue. Not only can it cause your gag reflex to kick in, but it's somewhat dangerous. Without reaching the back of your tongue, you're not removing the strongest sources of odor.

2. Toothbrush bristles were meant for scraping your teeth, not your tongue. The tissue on your tongue is far more sensitive than the surface of your teeth, and using a toothbrush can seriously irritate it.

3. The width of a toothbrush isn't enough to cover the width of your tongue. You need something wider.

A tongue scraper, on the other hand, is a much better option for various reasons. First of all, the thin shape of the scraper will allow you to reach the back of your tongue (the most important part) without feeling uncomfortable and making you gag. Also, a tongue scraper is much smoother than the rough bristles of a toothbrush, and much gentler on the tongue. Lastly, they're really cheap and they last for a long time. I've had the same one for over two years now.

The use of a tongue scraper is absolutely recommended for anyone looking to take care of their breath. Whether you're doing this and only this, or combining it with mouthwashes or other breath care systems, any dental professional would agree that it's always something you should do.

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