Tongue scrapers and cleaners are a great way to rid your tongue of unwanted debris and reducing bacterial conditions. If you only brush your teeth and forgo cleaning off your tongue, you are leaving behind bacteria to flourish in your mouth. These plaque-forming can bacteria accumulate and breed causing numerous dental problems such as bad breath, gingivitis, and tooth decay.

Tongue Scrapers and Overall Health

Along with the reduction of the bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath, gingivitis and tooth decay, a clean tongue plays an important role in your overall health. The tongue harbors almost half of the bacteria within your mouth so it is vital to get rid of all of these toxins that can be trapped in the crevices of your tongue. These toxins can be reabsorbed into your body if left behind and lead to a multitude of health conditions including a compromised immune system, respiratory difficulties and digestive problems.

How to Use Tongue Scrapers

Tongue scrapers are “U” shaped thin, flat deplaquing devices that are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. You simply hold the scraper with both hands in front of a mirror and place it as far back on your tongue as possible. Use one long stroke with a little pressure and scrape all the way from the far back surface area to the front surface of your tongue. Rinse off the tongue scraper and repeat until your tongue appears free of coating. And… Viola! Your tongue is clean as a whistle.

Keeping up with your regular, professional dental cleaning will keep your teeth and gums in optimum condition and minimize the need for extensive dental treatment. Contact South Tampa Smiles for your next dental appointment at (813) 289 – 0560. Our friendly and professional staff is ready to assist you.


Dr. Rebecca Benedict is a native Floridian, and attended the University of Florida where she obtained her BS in Microbiology and Cell Science with an additional concentration in Chemistry. While at the University of Florida, she was named a University Scholar for her work in cancer research at Shands Hospital. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Dr. Benedict elected to attend Nova Southeastern University in Ft Lauderdale to obtain her Doctorate in Dental Medicine. She has since furthered her education through her alma mater, the University of Florida, with additional training in implant surgery. Dr. Benedict has also earned a fellowship with the International College of Oral Implantologists.

She remains involved in continuing education, staying at the forefront of dental research and technology. Dr. Benedict also has additional training in Relaxation Dentistry with DOCS Education, and has been published by both the American Association for Dental Research and the International Association for Dental Research.

Active memberships include: American Dental Association (ADA), Florida Dental Association (FDA), West Coast District Dental Association (WCDDA), Hillsborough County Dental Association (HCDA), International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and the Seattle Study Club.

Dr. Benedict strives for excellence and believes in providing her patients with the highest quality care possible.

When not at the office, Dr. Benedict believes in giving back to the community. She is an active volunteer through the Junior League of Tampa, and wants to eventually establish a nonprofit foundation benefitting the Tampa Bay area. She also can be found renovating her 1920’s home, which has proven to be an ongoing project and source of enjoyment.

Contact South Tampa Smiles at (813) 289 – 0560 for further questions about dental implants or to schedule your next dental visit. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you.


Valentine’s Day is the special day for everyone can spend time with our special someone or express love and appreciation to our loved ones and dearest friends. It is a time to enjoy a night at the movie, dinner at your favorite restaurant, or simply sharing a big box of chocolates. Many people like to show affection by gifting sugary treats to their loved ones. The South Tampa Smiles staff would like to spread awareness that everyone can celebrate the holiday in a healthier way by making dark chocolate your confection of choice.


Choosing Your Chocolate

Chocolate candy can be enjoyed in moderation without damaging the health of your teeth. Choosing dark chocolate is a great way to treat your self this Valentine’s Day without any feeling of guilt. Dark chocolate has some surprising health benefits. The antioxidants in dark chocolate are believed to be good for your heart and even lower blood pressure. It is also better for your teeth than some other sticky candies such as taffy or caramel. These types of candies are more likely to get stuck in between the teeth and put you at risk of developing cavities. When you choose your chocolate, try opting for the plain varieties. They do not contain the sticky ingredients that could get lodged in the crevices and remain on the teeth for a much longer period of time.

Enjoy in moderation

Most of us have the mindset of “save some for later” and continue nibbling on our chocolatey treats for several days. So instead of enjoying the candy for a brief time and brushing right away, we repeatedly expose our teeth to sugar. It is this constant exposure of sugar that damages the teeth rather than the amount. It is easy to make health conscious decisions for your sweetheart, friends, and loved ones. Offer them sweet indulgences that have hidden health benefits and less damaging to their oral health.

We encourage everyone to enjoy the sweeter things in life while maintaining long-lasting dental health. Keep your smiles in top health with regular dental visits along with your at-home routine.  Call us today at (813) 289 – 0560 to schedule your next dental exam, cleaning and x-rays.

Happy Valentine’s Day from South Tampa Smiles!

For further reading on candy and oral health,
Read Top 5 Healthy Halloween Dental Tips



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