Do you scrape your tongue when brushing your teeth?

@James72 (26833)
Australia
January 17, 2009 4:30am CST
I keep seeing references to this and it is supposed to be a beneficial practice that we should undertake whenever we brush our teeth. There can be a lot of build up of "gunk" on the tongue and in trun, this gunk can generate bacteria that causes bad breath etc. The problem for me though, is that whenever I try to scrape my tongue, the gag reflex kicks in and I almost throw up! It's not very pleasant at all, so I of course rarely try to scrape the tomgue at all. What about you? Do you scrape your own tongue whenever you clean your teeth? Does it make you gag also when you do it? Do you really think it's of benefit or will toothpaste or mouthwash be more than adequate to control any major build-up anyways?
21 people like this
89 responses
@ljy559 (181)
• Malaysia
18 Jan 09
Good day, James. I do scrape my own tongue whenever I brush my teeth, or after I eat chocolates...I guess it is something that is important for everyone to do. As the researches say, most bacteria are actually on our tongue, not our teeth. By scraping your tongue, you can get rid of the bacteria, as well as bad breath and maybe even lessen the chances of having cavities! Unlike you, I dont have gagging problems when I scrape my tongue. I think why you gag when you do it is because you brush too near to your throat...it'll make you feel like throwing up. seriously.
2 people like this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
18 Jan 09
Heya ljy. But scraping your tongue after eating chocolates might get rid of the taste of chocolate!!!! lol. I agree that it is of tremendous benefit to scrape the tongue and have seen many references to bacteria build-up in that area also. The challenge as I have shared, is the gagging part! Even when I am far from the throat, I have issues unfortunately. I will keep trying though and hopefully one day it will become easier. I have some tips to try as well now.
@ljy559 (181)
• Malaysia
18 Jan 09
hmm..maybe you could try sticking your tongue out and scraping it? This way your toothbrush wouldn't get too near to your throat...(:
1 person likes this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
18 Jan 09
Tried this too ljy! Still no joy I'm afraid, but the face I make while doing it is pretty funny!
@kellyjeanne (1578)
• United States
21 Jan 09
Yes, I do everytime, but, to avoid the gag reflex I only do go as far as the middle of my tongue. I don't go so far as to make myself gag. That seems to be sufficient to handle the bacteria problem. I don't think it's necessary to go all the way back to the throat when scraping the tongue with your tooth brush. Purrs, Catwoman=^..^= & Mija
2 people like this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
21 Jan 09
It's a positive habit to have, no question! The problem for me though kellyjeane, is that even if I put pressure on the middle of the tongue and no further, the gag reflex STILL kicks in unfortunately! I am going to look at electric toothbrushes on the weekend, as maybe one of these might work for me in this regard.
• United States
22 Jan 09
Wow! You are very sensitive in that area. I hope you do find something that helps you. By the way, you may call me Cat or Catwoman. Everyone else does :) Purrs, Catwoman=^..^= & Mija
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
22 Jan 09
Cat it is then! Yes, I am a sensitive guy all round Cat! lol.
@Daffodil20 (1754)
• India
18 Jan 09
I always do it. I have been taught that way since I started brushing on my own. It does cause you to gag sometimes when accidently you push the tongue cleaner a bit too inside uptill your throat. Taking care to scrape it till just a little short of that prevents from throwing up. Its a matter of being accustomed. Try putting your thoughts on something else while doing it if it troubles you. Toothpaste and mouthwash cleanse the teeth and throat preventing bad odour respectively, so I think it won't serve the said purpose James. But as often, I might be wrong.
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
18 Jan 09
I am trying to recall whether this is a practice my Mother pushed for or not and I don't think it was. The issue for me Daffodil is that the gagging doesn't happen because I go too far back, it happens even when I make light contact with the mid are of the tongue! I agree that toothpaste and mouthwash alone should help considerably, but I do wish to try to find a way to do this without feeling ill every time. On the next attempt I will think of bunnies and kittens while doing it and see what happens!
1 person likes this
• India
18 Jan 09
Hahahahaah. That's right. What a cute thought!! Sure is going to do the trick. Good Luck.
2 people like this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
18 Jan 09
Thanks. Luck is good! And I can't really think of anything more positive than bunnies and kittens!
• Philippines
21 Jan 09
yes, always. just be sure to gently scrape the tongue and not go in too much so you won't feel the need to throw up.
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
21 Jan 09
I am very gentle myself when trying to clean my tongue, but the reflex still kicks in unfortunately. I have had a few tips provided to me since starting this thread, so am slowly but surely trying them one by one. Hopefully I will have some joy!
• United States
20 Jan 09
To be perfectly honest everytime I brush my teeth I DO scrape my tongue as well. Isn't the tongue a part of your mouth? then it should also be cleaned everytime you brush since your tongue also gets dirty throughout the day..I know it may be difficult for those who gag at doing so, but I think that if you do it really quickly and without thinking about it you can actually do it...Sure mouthwash helps kill germs and bacteria in your mouth but scraping your tongue should be part of your routine brush cleaning.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
21 Jan 09
It certainly is a vital part of the mouth that should be cleaned xtine! I would like to be brushing my tongue also, EVERY time I brush my teeth, but the whole experience is unpleasant so I don't do it daily. I have tried every method imagineable, but no joy as of yet I'm afraid. I will continue to persist though because I agree that it is an important thing to do.
@WebMann (4734)
• Canada
17 Jan 09
I do scrape my tongue when I brush my teeth, although I didn't always. When I moved in with my brother at about age 21, we were raised in separate foster homes up until then, I saw him scraping his tongue. I laughed at him at first but soon realized it was really beneficial and started doing it myself. It did make me gag for the first few days but now I have been doing it for 30 years and no more gagging. Well maybe once in a while if I cram that tooth brush too far back. :)
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
17 Jan 09
To my understanding it's of benefit, but I don't ever recall a Dentist telling me this to be honest! Then again, Dentist's are not people I enjoy seeing that often. lol. Hopefully in another 30 years, I'll be able to scrape my tongue without gagging as well. And of all the things we can learn from siblings too, this is certainly one of the more unusual ones!
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36494)
• United States
18 Jan 09
i do sometime but not as often as i should. i hate that gagging sensation it gives me. they can come up w/more bull to do to yourself.
1 person likes this
@abcnadz (462)
• India
18 Jan 09
if it gives you the gagging sensation, then don't take the scraper too deep down there. it may work :)
2 people like this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
18 Jan 09
You sound very much like me then AntiqueLady! I try to do it at least once a week, but any more frequently than that and I feel quite ill. abcnadz, I try not to go deep at all, but I still gag unfortunately.
1 person likes this
@abcnadz (462)
• India
18 Jan 09
oh.datz sad. but u can't completely avoic it also. keep scraping. when you feel like throwin up, stop and wash your mouth. then you can again continue with the scrapin and stop again when u feel like gagging.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jan 09
I brush my tongue when I am brushing my teeth, but I only go about halfway back, otherwise I gag, too. I think brushing your teeth, and maybe your tongue,and using mouthwash to kill germs is sufficient. I don't know, though, I am not a dentist. I don't play one on tv, and I didn't stay at the Holiday Inn Express last night. You know all those gadgets they have to clean your tongue? I think somebody just wants to make us think it's necessary in order to sell all those things. A fool and his money, kind of thing.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
17 Jan 09
Hmmm. So it's all a ploy is it? Man, ain't we a bunch a suckers then! Dirty buggers. A secret team of capitalist Denists hidden away in a Pentagon like structure hatching the next plot for world domination! I will be far more careful in future Bo. And I know about the Holiday Inn. According to the web footage, you were actually in a pick-up at the Flag Inn last night. Who the hell was that dude in the Lumberjack pants???
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jan 09
Shhhh! James! Are you just trying to get me in trouble today?
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
21 Jan 09
Forget about just today Bo, I'm tryin' to drop you in the crap EVERY day!
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@suruchi86 (1873)
• India
24 Jan 09
Same is with me. I also can't do it because of reflex.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
24 Jan 09
Thank you for being my 100th response suruchi! I tried tpo find an electric toothbrush this weekend to see if this would stop the reflex, but I can't seem to locate one yet. I'll keep looking though because the gag reflex is annoying.
@suruchi86 (1873)
• India
24 Jan 09
Yes, that would perhaps be helpful for me also.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
24 Jan 09
If I do end up finding one and it DOES make a difference, I will post back and let you know.
@earthsong (590)
• United States
17 Jan 09
I always scrape my tongue when I brush. It does make me gag, but my mouth feels so much fresher afterward, so I feel its worth it.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
17 Jan 09
I have to admit earthsong that my mouth feels much fresher afterwards also when I DO manage to do it. It is just getting my mind around this gag problem as it's a frustrating feeling to have each time I try to scrape! All I can do is keep trying I guess and hopefully over time it will become less of an issue. All I know is that it has been years now and it has never seemed to get easier. lol.
• United States
17 Jan 09
Its never gotten any easier for me also, especially when I get to the back of my tongue. I hate it, but I deal with it LOL
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
17 Jan 09
Oh, how we suffer to achieve tongue perfection earthsong!
• Canada
19 Jan 09
I do sometimes. My toothbrush has a tongue scrubber on the other side of the brush. I can really only do the part of the tongue that I can stick out of my mouth or I gag way too much.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
19 Jan 09
Welcome to mylot Perchew! I once bought one of those toothbrushes with the tongues scrubber on the back, but it still didn't stop me from gagging unfortunately. It sounds like you have similar issues to me, as I can only do the front sections of my tongue also. The gagging's not very nice at all, is it! lol.
• Canada
19 Jan 09
Thanks for the welcome! And when I scrub my tongue I stick my tongue out like I'm trying to touch my chin. It makes me gag less, but I think anything touching my tongue other than food just makes me gag lol.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
19 Jan 09
You are very welcome. Imagine if you were to film yourself while doing what you have just described..... It would look quite funny for sure!
@mimpi1911 (25467)
• India
19 Jan 09
I hate scraping for invariably I throw up and it feels bad after that. But we have to do it anyways. I scrape when I floss my teeth that's not daily though. And James, no amount of mouth wash or tooth paste would help me with the scraping.I wish they could and I could well go without scraping. But I feel its just publicity gimmicks. . I brush my teeth 2-3 times a day and while having headaches even more number of time. That's weird but brushing does give me a good feeling and help me fight with the nagging pains. And never did I feel the usefulness of toothpastes as in scrapings.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
19 Jan 09
Heya mimpironi! You sound a lot like me I think! I feel bad too, but I recognize the benefits in doing it, so persist with it as often as possible. I remember you saying a while back that brushing your teeth helps with headaches! lol. Thankfully I don't actually get headaches myself, so I've never been able personally test your theory. Maybe the scrapers and the whole concept IS a gimmick? Using the toothbrush itself seems more than adequate to me!
@mimpi1911 (25467)
• India
19 Jan 09
You really think so! Brushing is good but I feel we do need to scrape from time to time. I am glad that you do not get headaches. It's awful, I tell you and it can actually make yo forget your best pal's name if not yours...
1 person likes this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
19 Jan 09
lol. So you didn't like the play on words with your username then? (It was either that or "Mimpilicious"!) I have managed to remember my own name throughout my life so far too by the way. Thank God for that! lol.
• India
18 Jan 09
Hello my dear james72 Ji, Though I do not have any teeth at present, but cleaning of tounge is a healthier practice, I use daily toungue cleaner and clean, at times it does happen, what you observe, but if one is careful and always keep one's face down while cleaning toungue, one will have less chances of sallowing inward, I know we feel very bad when accidently it goes insiide mouth. but nature is great , it will find out some solutions to throw out of your body through other sources, it may use night-soil (stool) passage or even vomitting from mouth. But tounge cleaning must go on. may god bless you and have a great time.
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
19 Jan 09
Hello to you also maygodbless you. Thank you for being my 50th response! I guess having no teeth does make things a little easier in the tootbrushing department! oral hygiene is still important though of course and it's good that you are disciplined enough to do it. I try to tongue scrape regularly myself, it is just a challenge unfortunately!
1 person likes this
• India
19 Jan 09
Hello my dear james72 Ji, Every moment we all face challanges in our life, and cleaning tounge is not a big chanllange which ensures our good personnal hygine. may god bless you and have a great time.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
20 Jan 09
Having a good time is something I try to make as regular as breathing maygodblessu! I wish all the same for you in return.
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
18 Jan 09
Try dipping the scraper in mouthwash first. The minty flavor will help supress the gag reflex. Also, maybe you're going too far back, try not going as far. It's probably something you have to de-sensitize yourself for. Like working your way further back over a longer period of time. People who learn to swallow swords must have to go through similar de-sensitizing routines. But don't worry, you don't have to go that far back!
1 person likes this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
18 Jan 09
Can I dip it in chocolate instead catdla? I will give yur suggestion a try and see if it makes a difference. I don't go back far into the mouth by the way, it just seems that I have a sensitive gag reflex when it comes to my tongue is all. I could always learn how to swallow swords too I guess!
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
18 Jan 09
Chocolate sounds great! Anything is better with chocolate! I would imagine dentists everywhere would hate a good-tasting chocolate toothpaste. So many people would brush, and brush longer, that they'd have fewer customers.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
18 Jan 09
Even CHOCOLATE is better with chocolate I reckon! And believe it or not, but I have actually seen chocolate flavoured toothpaste before! I never tried it, but I have definitely seen it!
1 person likes this
@cyberfluf (5008)
• Netherlands
17 Jan 09
I can't do it either, I will get the gagreflex as well and if I'm having bad luck it will not just be a reflex but I will end up vomiting for real. Somehow I can't stand doing it, even if it's close in front. I do use tooth picks and mouthwash in addition to the normal brushing every time I brush, so I try to be as thorough as possible. Perhaps having an electrical tooth brush is also one of the things why I can't stand scraping my tongue (allthough the special 'equipment' they have on the market for scraping doesn't work for me aswell, so we can check that one off basicly).
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
17 Jan 09
Heya fellow gagger! Shall we start a club? Thankfully though, I don't recall ever actually vomiting, but I do come close! (Isn't this conversation delightful! lol) I have tried the scrapers you can buy too and had no luck either. I haven't tried an electric toothbrush for this before though and maybe I should.
1 person likes this
@cyberfluf (5008)
• Netherlands
17 Jan 09
All this stuff about gagging reminds me of Ronaldinu's topic on the most disgusting thing you have ever seen; I guess it would be you and me trying to scrape our tongues! . Perhaps an electrical tooth brush will work for you because of the vibrations, I don't know what good it will do but it's worth a shot. Will you let us know if it works out? . I think I will be occupied with the panda spanking club for now, but if that doesn't work out a gagger club might be fun aswell , lol!
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@cyberfluf (5008)
• Netherlands
18 Jan 09
Sure thing, one dedicated panda spanker you have here .
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@alokn99 (5719)
• India
17 Jan 09
Once in a while i suppose. But i do get that odd sickening feeling on my tongue which is hard to describe. The mouthwash along with the brushing seems to be more comfortable to me. Now brushing the tongue....
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
17 Jan 09
You sound very much like me then Alok. I too do so once in a while, but I get that sickening feeling also. Hopefully the toothpaste I am using is enough for now! I occasionally get mouthwash as well, but I am not a regular user of it.
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@alokn99 (5719)
• India
17 Jan 09
And they have the meatal ones and the plastic ones as well. The metal ones make me feel worse actually.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
17 Jan 09
I have only ever tried the plastic ones myself. I once bought a toothbrush with a scraper thingie on the back of it too, but it made no difference to the gagging whatsoever.
@abcnadz (462)
• India
18 Jan 09
Scraping your tongue is very important. Like you said, it removes the bacteria which reduces bad breath. Its functions cannot be substituted with of the functions of mouthwash and toothpaste. It improves the functions of hte taste buds to a very large extent. Another benefit of scraping your tongue is, u can avoid sinus. Not scraping your tongue gives it a white colour coating. But if your tounge is clean and healthy it will look pink. Go check it ! If it's not ... Start scraping today ...
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
18 Jan 09
Thankfully I've never suffered from sinus problems, but I can see how tongue gunk build-up could cause problems here. I do continue to scrape it at least once a week, regardless of the gagging and I will continue to do so even if I don't find a solution. I want a pink tongue too!
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
18 Jan 09
Oh...... And welcome to mylot abcnadz!
@abcnadz (462)
• India
18 Jan 09
thank u :)
1 person likes this
@tonytt2009 (1706)
• China
17 Jan 09
Hi James,for me I will not scrape my tongue even I believe what you're mentioning,the say "Gunk".I prefer to leave it wherever they're as I think it's a part of my body which will fall of as the metabolism.However,my grandpa did this coz he read a article in the newspaper that mentioned the benefit of scraping the tongue~lol~`
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
17 Jan 09
Hi Tony. I don't think I've seen your clown fish and green coral for a while! I have read about the benefits of it too and if the "gunk" is left for a long time, it can build up quite a bit actually. I do always feel much cleaner in my mouth when I manage to scrape my tongue, but it is just difficult for me to do because of the gag reflex. Oh well, I will keep trying and hopefully one day it will get easier.
1 person likes this
• China
17 Jan 09
Yea,I've been absence for a while,er...should be few month.As I was very very busy for my full time job. Anyway,just keep it well as long as you feel good~regarding to your gag reflect,I sometime have and thus I know your feeling!~~lol~~ Good to see your care of me~~thanks~
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
17 Jan 09
Good to see you back then tony. I've been extremely busy too and not been able to mylot as often as usual, but at least I get short spurts on here day to day and that's all I can ask for really. Helps me keep my sanity! (Or maybe not, either way, it's fun! lol)
1 person likes this
• Singapore
5 Mar 09
Hi James, I don't scrape my tongue with a scrapper though we have one lying there. I don't use it coss I think scrappers should be personal articles and you don't share them. I wouldn't share a toothbrush for that matter too. Anyway scrappers are relatively cheap but I haven't seen a strong need to get one. After I brush my teeth, I will brush my tongue anyway so I figure that is good enough for me. And yes you are right, most of the bacteria is on the tongue. And in fact, our "morning breath" is usually caused by the bacteria on the tongue more than anything.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
5 Mar 09
Hi mate! I certainly wouldn't be sharing a scraper either! They are cheap, yes, but I can't get comfortable using them unfortunately. The gag reflex is an issue for me no matter what I seem to try. even the electric toothbrush approach didn't work. I do still persist with it at least once a week though, I just have to be very quick about it! lol. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
5 Mar 09
Why don't you just use the good old toothbrush? Just brush your tongue gently, as far back as you won't gag... isn't that better? I just think the toothpaste on the brush helps too. Never heard of people putting toothpaste on scrappers... or do they?
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
6 Mar 09
That's what I do currently actually, I use the toothbrush itself to genty scrub my tongue. I'm not aware of people putting toothpaste on scrapers either? It does sound like a weird thing to do. I wouldn't mind trying it with chocolate though!
@hdjohnson (2981)
• United States
21 Jan 09
Oh yeah, I do, it's a sure way to get the built up plague off of your tongue and out of your mouth. I don't actually scrape it though anymore. I used to gag as well, and the reflux was a nuisance and not to mention a bit painful. So I started brushing my tongues instead, and flossing more. The difference with the brushing verses the scraping, is I'm not sticking the brush too deeply into my mouth near my throat, anymore. That prevents the gagging and the reflux. Also it is no longer painful. And I use Listerine in the purple bottle, it is a lot less stronger than the original brand, and the orange bottle sucks.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
21 Jan 09
This is what I do today hdjohnson and use the toothbrush bristles themselves to try to clean the tongue. I have also tried one of those tongue scrapers before, but the same issue with gagging still persists unfortunately. It doesn't seem to matter if I go nowhere near the back of my throat either! I have tried that orange Listerine before and it IS pretty bad! lol. I don't think I've ever seen the purple bottle version before? I usually get the blue one when I buy mouthwash.
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@hdjohnson (2981)
• United States
21 Jan 09
The blue one? I haven't heard nor scene that one, probably because I'm only looking for the purple one when I do to buy. You didn't mention flossing. There are toothpick style flossers that are in the market that make it easier to floss without hurting your fingers. That will help with the plague build up in the back of your mouth to prevent it from settling down on your tongue. I may try the blue one if I ever see it in the stores where I live. Since it's blue, I'm sure that it is some sort of minty flavor.
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@James72 (26833)
• Australia
21 Jan 09
This is quite funny! lol. Maybe I should send you a blue one and you can send me a purple! I have some of these toothpicks you have mentioned at home actually! They are plastic and have a thread of floss built into them. I use these regularly and they are definitely good value!