Have you ever noticed the textured backside of a toothbrush? More companies are creating toothbrushes with a backside for tongue scraping or brushing.

So why would anyone “scrape” their tongue?

Believe it or not, there are several benefits to brushing or scraping your tongue when you brush your teeth.

Did you know that your tongue is covered with bacteria? The surface of your tongue is not smooth but has crevices where bacteria can settle. Brushing your tongue helps to remove the bacteria that may not remove just through mouthwash alone. The bacteria if not removed can lead to bad breath, tooth decay or even gum disease.

Brushing your tongue can also reduce your risk of oral thrush. When bacteria build up it can cause an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth which can cause an infection known as Oral Thrush. You can commonly recognize Oral Thrush by the white patches visible on your tongue. A good antifungal medication can cure it, but regular tongue brushing can prevent it from returning.

Toxins can be absorbed into your body from your tongue. By scraping or brushing your tongue, you can prevent the toxins from being absorbed into your body which will help protect your immune system and help with your digestive health.

Does your favorite food taste a little off? By brushing your tongue regularly, you can remove a build-up of plaque and dull taste buds and enhance the flavor of your food again.

A word of caution

Always be careful when brushing or scraping your tongue. This is a sensitive organ and using the wrong tool can damage your tongue and taste buds.

Some toothbrushes come with a backside just for this purpose, but for some the toothbrush is too large to reach the back of the tongue and may activate a gag-reflex. Other tools are out there, but always reach out to your dentist for the best recommendations that you will be comfortable with.