Dentists say tongue scraping prevents gum disease, cavities, and bad breath

TikTok is full of videos advocating fads that claim to promote health.

Drinking water infused with chia seeds, consuming dry protein powder, and sticking garlic in your nose are just the subjects of some of the videos.

The gimmicks claim to help with weight loss, enhance the effect of exercise and stave off a cold, respectively — although experts warn that they’re either ineffective or unsafe.

Dentists say one dental-based trend — known as tongue scraping — can boost oral health.

This practice, which involves using a device to remove debris from the tongue, can eliminate bad breath, as well as ward off inflammation of the gums and cavities, according to Dr. Sundeep Patel.

The cosmetic dentist, based at Waldron Dental Clinic in south-east London, said this is because the technique of removing the white layer on the tongue – an accumulation of bacteria, debris and dead cells – is more effective than brushing. thread alone.

Even Gwyneth Paltrow, founder of wellness brand goop known for her endorsement of “dangerous” habits, like vaginal intercourse, does.

Gwyneth Paltrow revealed this month that she starts her day 'tongue scraping' with an $8 (£6.75) device from Dentistry.

Dentists say the tooth-based trend in TikTok — known as tongue scraping — can boost oral health

How did you scratch your tongue?

1. Stick out your tongue.

2. The scraper should start at the back of the tongue.

3. Run the scraper all the way forward 3 or 4 times.

4. Make sure to use light pressure

5. Rinse the abrasive under warm water between scratches.

6. Rinse your mouth with water afterwards or use mouthwash if desired.

The practice involves scraping the tongue from back to front three or four times using light pressure, after brushing and flossing.

Advocates say a scraper – a U-shaped tool made of plastic, brass or steel that costs less than £3 and can be bought at most pharmacies – gets rid of harmful bacteria.

Gwyneth Paltrow revealed this month that she started her day with a ‘tongue scraping’ using an $8 (£6.75) device from Buca Dental.

A large group of insects – more than 200 different species – live on the tongue.

While most of these bacteria are good, there are others that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay if left to build up.

Dr Patel told MailOnline: ‘Tongue scraping is a fairly new oral trend that is likely to be very popular in 2023.

The act of tongue scraping was often restricted to the wellness industry, but now it’s making its way into the mainstream and becoming a routine step in your oral hygiene routine.

Although not as important as brushing and flossing, it can be added to a routine to keep your mouth as clean as possible, says Dr. Patel.

Some use their toothbrush or mouthwash in an effort to clean their tongue – but a tongue scraper may be more thorough.

‘Often after we eat or drink our tongue can feel fuzzy or in need of cleaning,’ said Dr. Patel.

“So scraping your tongue in the morning and evening can help remove bacteria from that area to prevent any dental problems down the line.”

According to Dr. Sandeep Patil, tongue scraping, which involves using a device to remove debris from the tongue, can eliminate bad breath, as well as prevent inflammation of the gums and cavities.  In the photo: a woman cleans her tongue with a scraper

According to Dr. Sandeep Patil, tongue scraping, which involves using a device to remove debris from the tongue, can eliminate bad breath, as well as prevent inflammation of the gums and cavities. In the photo: a woman cleans her tongue with a scraper

TikTok is full of videos advocating fads that claim to promote health.  But a dental-based trend—known as tongue scraping and featured in hundreds of videos (pictured)—can boost oral health, dentists say.

TikTok is full of videos advocating fads that claim to promote health.  But a dental-based trend—known as tongue scraping and featured in hundreds of videos (pictured)—can boost oral health, dentists say.

TikTok is full of videos advocating fads that claim to promote health. But a dental-based trend—known as tongue scraping and featured in hundreds of videos (pictured)—can boost oral health, dentists say.

The practice, which involves using a device to remove debris from the tongue, can eliminate bad breath, as well as ward off inflammation and cavities in the gums, according to Dr. Sundeep Patel (pictured).

The practice, which involves using a device to remove debris from the tongue, can eliminate bad breath, as well as ward off inflammation and cavities in the gums, according to Dr. Sundeep Patel (pictured).

He added, “Tongue scrapers are very effective in removing bacteria from the tongue, and in some cases the dentist will suggest purchasing a scraper and including it in your oral hygiene routine.”

This practice can reduce bad breath – which is often caused by food particles and bacteria on the tongue.

“Removing them will help keep your mouth clean,” said Dr. Patel.

It can also reduce the risk of gum disease by removing particles that can aggravate the gums and lead to inflammation – which can eventually lead to gum disease.

Getting rid of extra bacteria also reduces the possibility of tooth decay.

“The more we can help keep our mouth clean, the less likely we are to experience cavities or other dental complications,” said Dr. Patel.

Studies have indicated that tongue scraping can improve the functioning of taste buds after two weeks of use.

He said scraping twice a day might make it easier to taste foods and better distinguish salty, sweet and sour foods.

“Tongue scraping can also improve the appearance of the tongue, when our tongue often has a white coating, scraping can remove it and leave it looking clean and healthy,” added Dr. Patel.

However, a spokesperson for the British Dental Association told MailOnline that the practice is not routinely recommended by dentists.

The spokesperson said it is not a substitute for brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste – including last thing before bed – and daily cleaning between teeth, limiting intake of sugary foods and drinks, and seeing the dentist regularly.

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