If you’re familiar with the latest viral trends on TikTok, you’ve definitely heard of tongue scraping—#tonguescraping has over 92 million views on the platform. In fact, the usage of a scraper as part of a regular oral hygiene practice has gained popularity in recent years, with some dentists even recommending the tool to patients.
Using a scraper to clean the surface of the tongue of plaque and germs is a common dental hygiene practice that has been around for many years. Tongue scraping is a harmless daily exercise; just be careful not to scrape too vigorously and cause damage or discomfort. A copper or stainless steel scraper is preferable to a plastic one since it is more sanitary, fights bad bacteria, and lasts longer in general.
Dr. Marc Lowenberg, a pioneer in the area of cosmetic dentistry, has earned a stellar reputation for his unparalleled skill and commitment to the advancement of dental aesthetics. Lowenberg is highly sought after because of his famed procedures and many TV appearances, making him a top cosmetic dentist in New York City. Some of entertainment’s most well-known actresses, models, singers, and politicians are among his patients, and he routinely gives them stunning new smiles.
Below, Dr. Marc Lowenberg answers some of our questions regarding tongue scraping, telling us how frequently to use a scraper, what materials are best for the tongue, and his personal recommendation. Continue scrolling for more.
Having been a dentist since the 70s, is tongue scraping a relatively new phenomenon in modern society, or has it always been a go-to for getting rid of bacteria and debris?
It’s been around forever and so has bacteria sitting on your tongue.
Are there disadvantages to using a tongue scraper daily, and in turn, how frequently can brushing improperly or too harshly occur?
It is important to thoroughly remove bacteria from both the teeth, the tongue, and all areas of the mouth. Use a tongue scraper daily to remove plaque from the tongue’s fissures, where sulfur-producing bacteria hide.
Is it possible that tongue brushing can result in pressing bacteria further into the tongue surface rather than removing it?
Absolutely not. It simply removes the surface bacteria.
Although you recommend using copper, there are plenty on the market that span from plastic and stainless steel to brushes. May you explain the downsides and benefits of using other materials?
Copper is a great material for tongue scraping. Copper is not only toxic to bad bacteria but also provides important enzymes that are needed for healthy bacteria to survive. However, the main reason for tongue scraping is to rid bacteria and other debris from your tongue, so I am ok with any type of tongue scraper, but copper is a great material.
Furthermore, as a dentist, is the quality and effectiveness of a tongue scraper often times reflected in the price, and is there any particular product you would recommend for those starting out?
I prefer the Primal Life Tongue Scraper.
Despite the wide array of benefits that come as a result of tongue scraping, should people still continue with their oral hygiene regimes the way they would without?
Tongue scraping is a fast way to remove extra particles on the tongue- including ones that cause bad breath. It can’t replace brushing but should be done in addition to brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
Obviously, platforms like TikTok can be equally as useful as they are dangerous for trends—at what point should someone reach out to a dentist such as yourself?
People have to judge credibility on their own. If the dentist appears credible on TikTok, I would recommend going to that person.
With that being said, what are some of the other services that you offer at Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor based in NYC?
We practice regular dentistry, but we specialize in cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers. The most common cosmetic dental procedure is the placement of porcelain laminate veneers – a life-changing smile transformation that allows us to literally recreate your smile by aligning crooked teeth, closing spaces, changing the shape of teeth, and most importantly, changing the color to create a dazzling smile. The advent of Zoom meetings has raised the bar as to what is acceptable in the cosmetic dental category. People have become more and more aware of their teeth and smiles, and have pushed porcelain veneers to the front of the line in terms of cosmetic dentistry.