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Tongue Scraping Blues: How to Avoid or Stop the Gag Reflex

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The surface of your tongue provides the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow. The use of tongue scraper can help to remove bacteria from your tongue, which can help to improve your dental health. However, many people do not like using tongue scrapers because of the unpleasant gag reflex their use can trigger. Below is a guide to some of the steps you can take to overcome this problem.

Practice cleaning your tongue on a regular basis

While the gag reflex is an inbuilt reaction to an object touching the back of your mouth, it is possible to overcome it. However, with repeated exposure to objects touching the back of your throat, you can desensitise yourself to the gag reflex. If you wish to do this, you should proceed gently and slowly until you can clean the back of your tongue without gagging. 

Don't scrape the very back of your tongue

The back of the tongue is very sensitive. When scraping your tongue, you do not have to clean the entire surface. By avoiding the very back of your tongue, you can massively reduce the risk that you will trigger your gag reflex.

Stick your tongue out

As a child, you were probably taught that sticking your tongue out was rude. However, when it comes to using a scraper, sticking your tongue out is to be encouraged. By sticking out your tongue, you will be able to clean it with ease. If you attempt to clean the surface of your tongue when it inside your mouth, you greatly increase the risk of accidentally touching the back or roof of your mouth which will trigger the gag reflex.

Remember to breathe

At first, this may seem like silly advice, but you would be surprised at the number of people who hold their breath when they use a tongue scraper. Holding your breath is a natural reaction when you are concentrating and placing something in your mouth. However, holding your breath will make controlling your gag reflex much more difficult. When scraping your tongue, you should make a conscious effort to breathe normally.

If you would like to find out more information about the benefits of cleaning your tongue or if you would like advice about how to use a scraper without triggering the gag reflex, you should contact a local dentist today. The dentist will be happy to assess your dental health before offering further help and advice.