The benefits of a tongue cleaner

Self-confidence often comes down to two simple things: a great smile (with accompanying white teeth) and fresh breath. Because general oral hygiene habits are not typical coffee shop chatter or office water cooler conversation, we have decided to step in and discuss the practice of tongue scraping and its surprising health benefits. (You may have heard of a healthy gut; well, a healthy tongue is potentially the gateway to your overall well-being). 


Tongue cleaners may not have been around in your grandmother’s day, but let’s all agree that general oral health was a bit of a hit-and-miss regarding past generations' dental habits.

Here’s our motivation to get you thinking differently: your mouth is filled with microbes (about 700 species of bacteria and fungi). Some help in promoting good oral flora, but others are the direct cause of tooth decay, gum disease, plaque buildup, infection and foul breath. Adding a tongue scraper to your daily oral care routine is the simplest way of removing these unwanted microbes. 

Basic tongue cleaner FAQs:

There’s nothing more persuasive than a good reason for being proactive and starting a new habit. So let’s answer the most obvious questions relating to tongue cleaners or scrapers.

FAQs about tongue cleaners

#1 Is using a tongue cleaner necessary if I brush my teeth regularly? 

Yes! Brushing and flossing help to clean your teeth and gums but typically leave the tongue’s surface untouched. Tongue scraping results in a more thorough overall mouth cleaning; promoting good oral flora. 

#2 Can’t I use my toothbrush to clean my tongue?

A toothbrush is not as effective in removing the bacteria coating from your tongue. The shape of a tongue cleaner is specifically designed to target the removal of bacteria and debris from the tongue’s surface. 

#3 How often should I use a tongue cleaner?

Ideally, once a day, and preferably in the morning before you brush your teeth to remove any accumulated overnight buildup. (Simply glide a tongue scraper across the entire surface of your tongue a few times, starting at the back and working toward the front). 

#4 Are tongue cleaners safe for children to use?

The simple answer is ‘yes’ but we advise choosing a child-friendly tongue cleaner that is a smaller size with rounded edges. (Always supervise young children when in the process of tongue scraping).

Benefits of using a tongue cleaner

Once you're informed as to the benefits of using a tongue cleaner, you're likely going to want to jump online and buy one (or two).

Daily benefits of using a tongue scrape/cleaner

#1 Fresher breath

Halitosis or oral malodour - the medical term for bad breath - is always an awkward and embarrassing conversation to have. Let the accusation never be directed at you! The tongue's surface is covered in tiny bumps called papillae that trap food debris and toxins. By removing bacteria, food particles, dead cells and the white layer from your tongue with a tongue cleaner, you are promoting better oral health and fresh breath. (There are medical studies to back up these claims)

#2 Cleaner teeth

Tongue scraping aids in removing the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth which in turn prevents cavities and improves gum health. (This does not, however, replace your daily brushing routine). 

#3 Elevated taste

A super advantage to introducing a tongue cleaner into your daily oral care routine is the increased sensitivity of your taste buds. According to a study by the Cleveland Clinic, scraping off the surface of your tongue (which covers the taste buds) means starting with a fresh palate which in turn will result in you noticing stronger and more subtle flavour culinary profiles the next time you eat.

#4 Better digestion

It has been suggested that the white coating on the tongue is a signal that your digestive system has not absorbed nutrients as well as it should. Scraping off this coating daily may help your body to better process and absorb nutrients. 

Smile Shop

Smile Shop - the name says it all - is South Africa’s first online store dedicated to bringing you an ever-growing range of premium home dental and oral care products - including tongue cleaners. 

Starting a new habit takes 21 days, but depending on where you live in South Africa, it will only take 2-5 working days for you to get your tongue cleaner delivered and start your journey to fresher breath, improved self-confidence, better dental hygiene and overall well-being. 

Start incorporating tongue cleaning into your daily routine today.
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