Have you heard of tongue scraping? This ancient Ayurvedic practise has been getting a lot of attention lately in the dental world due to its numerous health benefits. But what is tongue scraping all about? At night, when your body processes everything that you have ingested in the day, toxins begin to form and are visible on your tongue. In the morning you will notice a patch of bacteria and germs on your tongue. This could be either white, brown or yellow basis what you ate the other day and how your body reacts to it. Scraping your tongue using a tongue scraper first thing in the morning helps to remove the toxins from your mouth and prevent their reabsorption.
Tongue scraping is a great way to keep your body in check every morning. Notice the colour of the coating on your tongue and its thickness to know if you digested the food well or not. For example, if you have eaten junk or fast food the previous day you may notice a slightly thicker coating on your tongue. This coating can interfere with your ability to taste your food and also create unhealthy cravings. These toxins on your tongue can also cause obstructions in respiration and foul-smelling breath.
7 Health Benefits of using a tongue scraper -
1) Temporarily improve bad breath
Bad breath can have a negative impact on your life in terms of relationships and self-esteem. Most of the time bad breath is caused due to the bacteria building up on your tongue. Clinical studies have shown that tongue scraping can reduce the number of bacteria on your tongue thus leading to better breath.
The scraping of the tongue can remove the bacteria build up in one swap by collecting these coatings. While this can be done with a toothbrush as well, a tongue scraper is uniquely shaped which helps in removing more bacteria in a single swap.
2) Enhance the flavours of your food
Tongue scraping can help enhance your taste buds thus leading to better taste sensations. This can also help reduce your food cravings as the food you eat will absorb well, digest well and thus keep you full longer. Tongue scraping also improves your ability to pick certain flavours from your food, expose your taste buds and improve sensations.
3) Scrape for better gum and tooth health
Tongue scraping along with brushing and flossing helps in removing bacteria which can cause gum diseases, tooth decay and plaque. Thus scraping your tongue can be one of the best ways to ensure better gum and dental hygiene.
Half of your digestion happens in your mouth. Scraping your tongue can improve digestion as it helps improve taste and increases saliva production in your mouth thus helping in your digestion.
5) Boost your immune system
The tongue plays a crucial role in your overall immune system as it is the first point of contact for anything that enters your mouth. When bacteria accumulates and lives on your tongue, it can easily move into other parts of your body. Scraping your tongue regularly will boost your immune system by restraining the bacteria from spreading.
When you are sick, scraping becomes even more critical as it helps remove the extra specks of bacteria in your mouth that will affect your already weak immune system.
6) Your mouth feels fresher and reduces plaque
Regular scraping of the tongue along with other dental practices such as brushing, mouthwash and flossing helps reduce plaque and makes your mouth feel fresher. A fresher mouth will help you be more confident and improve your overall dental hygiene.
7) Improve general health
Scraping your tongue prevents toxins from being reabsorbed into the body thus helping to boost your body’s overall immune system. Scraping reduces bacteria and debris on the tongue, teeth, gums helping reduce the risk of cavities, plaque and other oral health problems. Good oral health is the key to better overall health. Regular tongue scraping improves the appearance of your tongue and your taste sensations.
Tongue scraping has many health benefits but it's important that you visit a dentist if you are suffering from bad breath and other oral issues. You must also be consistent with your oral hygiene efforts by using the right kind of tongue scraper at least once a day to enjoy maximum benefits.
Practising tongue scraping
Tongue scraping is a simple practice that takes less than two minutes and this is how you can start -
- Stand in front of the mirror, open your mouth and stick your tongue out.
- Take a good look at it. Pick up your tongue scraper.
- Lay your tongue scraper at the back of your tongue. Don’t place it too far as it may cause gagging.
- Pull the scraper forward to collect debris and saliva off your tongue.
- Wash the scraper with hot water and repeat the process several times. Make sure you always go from the back to the front.
- Wash your mouth with lukewarm water to remove any leftover debris. Alternatively, you can also use a mouthwash at this point.
Stay focussed when scraping your tongue to keep your tongue relaxed while pulling the scraping tool. A tongue scraper is considered to be more effective than a regular toothbrush for cleaning your tongue. Tongue scrapers are inexpensive and can be found easily in most drug and health stores and online. You can choose a tongue scraper based on your requirements. A copper one is the most suggested over plastic or steel one due to the benefits of copper as an anti-microbial metal. A copper tongue cleaner fights the bacteria in your mouth and also provides vital enzymes that promote the survival of good bacteria in your mouth.
We hope you now have a better understanding of tongue scraping and its numerous benefits. Make sure you visit a dentist every 6 months and include tongue scraping in your daily dental routine. Tongue scraping must be done by everyone. Your dentist may notice some problems and may suggest tongue scraping to keep the symptoms in check. For example, smokers, people with bad breath, those suffering from fungal growth and those who consume strong odour foods can benefit massively from tongue scraping.
Remember that tongue scraping is not a replacement for your regular brushing or professional cleaning and must only be done in addition to brushing your teeth, flossing and using a mouthwash.