Tongue scraping has its roots in ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine and has been practiced for thousands of years. As the name implies, tongue scraping is the daily practice of scraping the tongue free of food material, bacteria, fungus, and dead tongue cells, with a scraper, typically upon rising.
It’s like exfoliation for your tongue! The scraper is a long, thin u-shaped piece of metal or plastic, although copper or stainless steel are preferred. They’re very affordable (less than $7) and should last a long time.
Most people wake up with a coating on their tongues, which forms overnight as a by-product of the digestive system’s efforts to heal itself during sleep, and can range in color from clear, to white, to yellow or green.
Tongue scraping takes just a few minutes of time and is easy to do. Before brushing your teeth, fully extend the tongue, place the scraper as far back as is comfortable and then gently but firmly pull the scraper forward to remove the coating. Repeat until almost no matter is being pulled up, usually 5-10 scrapings, rinsing the scraper with hot water in between.
When done, wash your scraper with hot water and a mild soap to store. That’s it! Then brush your teeth. *Please note it is not advisable to brush your tongue with your toothbrush as it leads to cross-contamination from your tongue to teeth, and also is not anywhere near as effective as scraping.
I recommend following up your scraping with mouthwash or oil pulling to remove any residual matter and kill any leftover bacteria. You can make your own mouthwash with quart of distilled water and 10-20 drops of tea tree oil and 10-20 drops of peppermint oil.
Tongue brushing is so fast, easy and inexpensive, and the benefits are amazing! Here’s why you should incorporate tongue scraping into your daily morning hygiene routine:
Improve and maintain dental health! Dental problems and periodontal disease have been linked to higher rates of heart disease and may have serious implications for overall health. When your mouth isn’t clean, your body isn’t clean–as evidenced by the much higher blood-bacteria content of people who use mouthwash vs people who do not use mouthwash. Your teeth, gums, heart, and circulatory system will thank you!
Combat bad breath by directly attacking the source- the bacteria on the tongue, and the matter they live in and feed from.
Prevent reabsorption of toxins, bacteria, and fungus by removing them before they get a chance to get back in! In this regard, tongue scraping is an excellent supplement to detoxification efforts and can boost overall immunity to disease and illnesses.
Keep your tongue in good working order and taste food and drink much better! This will help you enjoy your food more, improve digestion, eliminate false cravings, and listen to your body’s signals much more easily.
Get in touch with your tongue- the most powerful muscle in the body on which we rely every day for so much, but generally, as a culture, have so little regard for. Take care of your tongue, and it will take care of you!
Tongue scraping is one of the best things you can do for your mouth and overall health. For how inexpensive, simple, easy and fast it is to do, the benefits are great!