Benefits Of Tongue Scraping
By Doris Dahdouh
I can honestly say that I had never heard of “Tongue Scraping” till the beginning of 2015. It was when a good friend of mine had gone on a yoga retreat for the New Year and came back telling me about her trip. She described the atmosphere and told me that the attendees were calm and spiritual, they ate “clean” and engaged in some morning rituals such as “tongue scraping.” I had no idea what she was talking about, but I was intrigued.
I had so many questions… What is a tongue scraper? What is it used for? What are the benefits of using a tongue scraper? Should I be using one?
I learned that a tongue scraper is also known as a “tongue cleaner” or a “tongue brush.” According to Wikipedia, it is used as an “oral hygiene device designed to clean the bacterial build-up, food debris, fungi and dead cells from the surface of the tongue.”
Did you know that your tongue holds a large number of bacteria that linger from your meals? It is uncertain how many species of bacteria live in the mouth, but it is estimated to be between 500-650 different kinds. These bacteria can coat your tongue, leaving toxins in your mouth, causing bad breath and wreaking havoc for your teeth and gums.
Asian countries, such as India and China, have been using tongue cleaners for at least a couple of centuries. In fact, Ayurveda (the practice of traditional Indian medicine) encourages tongue scraping as a daily regiment for good oral hygiene health.
Scraping your tongue removes the bacteria, plain and simple. It is not the same as brushing your tongue. Scraping helps get rid of the bacteria, while brushing can move it around. There is no need to be aggressive when scraping your tongue, because you do not want to hurt yourself. Plus, being gentle goes a long way… just a few back and forth strokes will do the trick!
Here Are 4 Reasons To Start Using A Tongue Scraper:
1. Improves Bad Breath – Scraping the bacteria off of your tongue will stop the bacteria from formulating and multiplying, which inevitably will cause a foul odor to come from your mouth. Therefore, tongue scraping regularly will eliminate the culprit of that foul odor that comes from the inside of your mouth and improve your breath.
2. Improves Your Taste Buds – Having bacteria grow in your mouth and linger on your tongue will adversely impact your ability to enjoy the true and authentic flavors of food. Try eating on a previously used plate. You must clean off the plate first and then add new food to enjoy the genuine taste. Therefore, clean off your tongue and taste your food in a whole new light. You may be surprised at what you discover.
3. Improves Your Intimate Interactions – That’s assuming we all love to be near our loved ones (which I know I do!). Tongue scraping can take away the paranoia of “does my breath smell bad?” when you are close to a loved one or wanting to get closer to a loved one. In addition, how much better will a kiss taste after you have removed all of those extra, unneeded bacteria from your tongue? Go ahead and try it out. You can thank me later.
4. Improves Oral Hygiene – Your teeth and gums are sensitive enough to particles of leftover foods. They do not need extra toxins or bacteria in the mouth to fight off. Brushing your teeth and flossing is not enough to keep your whole mouth clean and fresh. Do your teeth and your gums a favor and add tongue scraping into your morning ritual.
At this point, you may be wondering, “What does a tongue scraper look like and where can I find one?” A tongue scraper looks like a miniature “U-shaped” metal stick with two handles or like a toothbrush, except with a wider, flatter brush or a triangular plastic/metal at the end of a plastic mini stick. You can buy one online, at a pharmacy or from your local health food store.
Cheers to a cleaner and healthier mouth!
Do you use a tongue scraper? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Doris Dahdouh has a Master’s Degree in social work and has helped counsel children and help families since 2001. In 2012, she became very ill due to a hormonal imbalance and autoimmune disorder. Doris was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) many years ago and was treated with mainstream medicine which did not help her. She hit rock bottom before finding refuge in holistic living, by juicing, going gluten free and eating clean, organic, whole foods. Over the past couple of years, Doris has educated herself on a healthy lifestyle by reading information by Dr. Joel Furhman, Drew Canole, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Josh Axe, Vani Hari (a.k.a. Food Babe) and more.
Doris is enrolled to become a certified health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is very excited to help others achieve their best by combining her psychoanalytic skills and what she hopes to learn in the health coaching certification program. With a heart for others, she is eager to continue assisting as many people as possible towards optimal health.
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