Q: Should I Use a Tongue Scraper?

By Dr. Cheryl Bresnahan

BreathRx Tongue ScraperStudies proved that brushing your tongue only scratches the surface. In general, 50% of people will collect plaque on their tongue and the other 50% don’t. If you are in the 50% that collect plaque on your tongue, you really need to use a tongue scraper.

How do you know if you are in the 50 percentile that collects plaque on your tongue?

Simply take your fingernail and scrape on the top surface of your tongue.

If you get plaque, which is all bacteria, that collects under your fingernail, then you collect plaque on your tongue. Approximately 90% of bad breath comes from the tongue. If you have a chocolate bar, the sugar from the chocolate bar will stay on the tongue for 2 ½ days which provides a constant sugar source for cavities. Bacterial that cause gum or periodontal disease can live on the tongue.

For those that collect plaque on their tongue, it is recommended to use a tongue scraper two times a day and try to get as far back on the tongue as you can comfortable reach without gagging yourself.

Dr. Cheryl Bresnahan is a licensed dentist and the founder of Dental Perfections in Whitewater, WI. If you'd like to ask her a question, please visit the Ask Dr. Cheryl section of our Web site.