You brush your teeth twice a day and use the best mouthwash but you could be
doing injustice to your mouth if you are not using a copper tongue cleaner yet.
Whether it is to fight the bacteria on your tongue or bad breath, cleaning your tongue is important.
Your tongue is as much of a target of bacteria as your mouth. Your tongue’s surface is rough and made of crevices and elevations which are perfect spots for bacteria to hide unless removed. Bacteria gets accumulated in these areas between the taste buds and other structures of your tongue.
There’s a group of microorganisms(biofilm) that develops on your tongue whenever you eat something which can’t be removed by drinking water or rinsing alone. These bacteria build-up can lead to bad breath and tooth decay. Hence it's important to scrape the bacteria out of your tongue physically by brushing or cleaning.
How is tongue scraping helpful?
As per Ayurveda, in the Chakra Samhita, it has been stated that cleaning your
tongue regularly helps in removing the foul smell, dirt deposited on your tongue and tastelessness. By removing the buildup or coating of bacteria, you can relish your food better. Your taste reception increases which make you eat less and eliminate the need to include more oil, sugar, salt etc in your food.
A cleaner tongue has better receptors and receives healthy signals from the food
you eat. Many of the body signalling molecules that your food contains are first interpreted by your tongue. Many food products and herbs release beneficial effects upon coming in contact with your tongue. Hence regular tongue cleaning can help you to receive health information and pass on the signals to the rest of your body.
To summarise, tongue scraping has these essential benefits -
1) It improves your sense of taste. You relish your food better and crave less for
salty, oily or sweet food items.
2) It removes bacteria build-up on your tongue thus removing the layer of micro-
3) Improves the appearance of your tongue making it look cleaner.
4) Improve overall health - By cleaning your tongue you prevent bacteria,
cavities, gum diseases and other conditions affecting your mouth.
What benefits does tongue scraping not provide?
A common misconception about tongue scraping is that it helps in reducing extended bad breath. While tongue scraping does prevent bad breath in the morning it won’t prevent bad breath later in the day. As you eat and drink throughout the day, you may experience bad breath unless you scrape using a tongue cleaner again.
Another misconception is that the use of a toothbrush is as effective as a tongue
cleaner. While a toothbrush can be helpful to some extent it cannot be as effective
as a tongue cleaner. As per a study, researchers have found that tongue cleaners
remove 30% more volatile sulphur compounds than a toothbrush.
So, while cleaning your tongue with a toothbrush is better than not cleaning at all,
using a tongue cleaner is better than using a toothbrush.
What kind of tongue cleaner should I use?
Its important to first select the right kind of tongue cleaner. There are several options available in the market including the ones made of plastic, steel and copper. As per Ayurveda, it is recommended that the tongue be cleaned using natural materials such as steel, copper, brass or tin.
Why use a copper tongue cleaner?
Copper has amazing antibacterial properties and is a much better substitute for
plastic or metal tongue cleaners. Studies have found that scraping your tongue with copper can reduce bacteria by 80%. Copper produces enzymes that are required for healthy bacteria to thrive in the mouth and maintain the alkalinity of your tongue.
Copper ions dissolve lymph congestion thus promoting a smoother flow of lymph
fluid in the lymphatic system, responsible for the body's immune system.
Copper vessels were used widely in India in ancient times to store water and other
purposes and its significance is now widely known.
For all these reasons copper is the most recommended material for tongue scraping. You can always explore what works best for you and incorporate tongue scraping into your daily oral care routine.
How to use a tongue cleaner?
Now that you have purchased the right tongue cleaner let's look at how you can use a tongue cleaner.
You can follow the below steps to use a tongue cleaner-
1) Stand in front of the mirror, open your mouth and remove your tongue.
2) Take the scraper in your hand and gently set the round edge of the scraper on
the back of your tongue.
3) You can start from the middle of the tongue if you fear gagging. You can start
from the middle and move the scraper towards the start of your tongue.
Gently scrape your tongue from the back to the front and not the other way.
4) After each scrape, use a cloth or tissue to wipe the tongue cleaner.
5) Repeat the process until you have scraped the entire surface area of your
6) Wash the tongue scraper with warm water and soap and keep it in a dry place
for next use.
The entire process will take hardly 2 minutes and can be repeated as and when
required during the day.
Are there any side effects to tongue scraping?
One major concern that people have while tongue scraping is simulating the gag
reflex which might cause you to vomit. While you scrape your tongue make sure you don't start from the back of your tongue. Start from the middle and gently move towards the tip of your tongue.
Be careful while using the tongue scraper to avoid any cuts on the tongue.
You should be gentle on your tongue so that you don't harm your taste buds. So go slow and increase the pressure gradually.
Tongue scraping as a daily practice
The ancient practice of tongue scraping helps stimulate the internal organs of the
body through energetic connections with the rest of the body. As digestion begins in the mouth it improves it by increasing the sense of taste and keeping the mouth
clean of bacteria. The tongue is a mirror to the overall health of your body. Remember how the doctor first checks the tongue before checking anything else?
Checking your tongue, examining it daily is a good practice of self-evaluation and
awareness. If a thick coating is noted try tongue cleaning along with other oral health practices and see if you notice a difference.
These simple daily practices can make a huge impact on your overall health.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Are Copper Tongue cleaners/scrapers good for you?
Yes. Copper tongue cleaners are great for your tongue and your mouth.
Copper has excellent antimicrobial properties which help remove bacteria from your teeth.
2. Why are tongue cleaners copper?
Tongue cleaners are available in different materials. Copper tongue cleaners are
suggested as the copper ions help healthy bacteria to thrive and also help with
improving your body’s immune system.
3. Is it better to use a copper or stainless steel tongue scraper?
A copper tongue cleaner is recommended by dentists due to the anti-bacterial
properties of copper that helps prevent bacteria build-up on the tongue and prevent bad breath.