Many people brush their teeth to keep their breath fresh. Others might chew gum, rinse with products like Listerine or Scope, and floss regularly. While all of these are definitely recommended as part of a fresh breath regimen, the most effective (and perhaps often neglected) method of freshening one’s breath is the regular use of a tongue scraper.
Contrary to popular belief, the biggest cause of bad breath is bacteria that lives and grows on the back of your tongue. Since there are deep grooves in your tongue (the taste buds in the back of your tongue, these are called papillae), bacteria thrive within these grooves grows and is directly responsible for the bad smells that may emanate from your mouth. Since bacteria in this kind of environment doesn’t get much oxygen, this is exactly what makes it smell bad.
While there’s no outright cure for this kind of thing (though there are treatments), the good news is that regular use of a tongue scraper can do a great job at getting rid of a good percentage of these bacteria.
Tongue scraping is the easiest and cheapest means of removing these bacteria. Many people prefer to use their toothbrush to scrape the surface of their tongues when they brush their teeth.
This isn’t the best idea, and I’ll explain why:
1) They often fail to reach the back of their tongue, which is where most of the bad breath bacteria live. Besides, seriously trying to reach the back of your tongue with a toothbrush could easily set off a gag reflex.
2) The bristles on a toothbrush are too rough for your tongue and can do permanent damage to the soft tissue on your tongue.
3) Even if you can somehow fit a toothbrush into your mouth so that it reaches the back of your tongue, a toothbrush is narrow and won’t be able to cover the whole span of your tongue from left to right.
The shape, smooth surface, and the price of a tongue scraper make it the most conducive thing out there when it comes to removing the source of bad breath. One tongue scraper could easily last for a year or two, making it well worth the money spent (they normally go for around 10 dollars, sometimes less).
If you’ve tried gums, mouthwashes, brushing, and everything else imaginable, look no further than the tongue scraper as your best bet for directly removing the source of bad breath. You’ll be glad you did.
For the most useful background on the tongue scrapers, visit our tongue scraper guide.