When it comes to me dental hygiene, I’m not playing around. The older I get the more care goes into my dental hygiene routine. Herbal toothpaste, long but soft toothbrushing, oil pulling, flossing… I do it all and a lot. And not without any results. Last year I added another routine that I absolutely love, tongue scraping. Today I will explain why I scrape my tongue. And don’t worry. Tongue scraping sounds disgusting, but it’s not a hype (proven benefits), it’s inexpensive and it’s quick.
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If oil pulling is too much of a good thing for you or you need proven studies to motivate you to get started then you will love this quick satisfying fix. Tongue scraping is (just like oil pulling) an Ayurvedic practice that might not be as popular and trendy as oil pulling (yet), but that has proven benefits to which I can personally attest.
What is tongue scraping?
I can describe it as a quick, simple, and inexpensive (less than 10 euros/dollars) routine with many benefits. After doing this once a day for a year now, I can’t imagine my life without it. It feels gross to skip, and I noticed I’m trying to convince others to do the same. I can’t imagine that anyone would do this once, see all the ‘’gunk’’ you remove from your tongue, and be like: ‘’oh ok, I will just leave it there’’.
Once you see what you remove, you won’t be able to stop this routine. Try it out and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
If I could choose two items to use for the rest of my life to clean my teeth I would probably got for a tongue scraper and tooth picks. Yep, no toothbrush. No worries I brush my teeth, but you get my point.
Why should you scrape your tongue?
Well, we all wake up in the morning with some sort of a morning breath. And some people even have a bad breath throughout the entire day no matter how much they brush of floss their teeth. Well, tongue scraping is the best remedy. And if you scrape your tongue regularly (also before bed) your morning breath will be drastically reduced.
It all makes sense if you think about it. We brush our teeth, floss our gums, but the biggest part of our mouth (the tongue) is being totally overlooked.
Unfortunately the soft, spongy and somewhat bumpy texture of the tongue is a perfect place for bacteria to breed. When you scrape off your tongue these bacteria along with food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells are all removed. The bacteria is what gives us a bad breath. When we sleep, our digestive system is not resting. At night it is removing toxins from our body and it does so by depositing these toxins onto the surface of our tongue. So if we don’t scrape these toxins away, they can get reabsorbed in the body and this can lead to digestive problems and a weakened immune system. The gunk that comes out is not pretty and it can range in color from clear, dark, white, yellow, or green.
Other health benefits
Digestion all starts in the mouth. Our saliva is filled with enzymes that breaks down our food. The cleaner the tongue (mouth) is, the better you can taste/digest your food and the better your digestion will be.
Our tongue has many taste buds, that’s its best-known role. You can imagine that when your tongue is covered with gunk, your taste buds will be less able to enjoy all flavors.
When we have too much soft plaque on our tongue, this will lead to more hard plaque on our teeth. Which leads to a bad breath, but also…. tooth decay. You see, it all comes together. With regular tongue scraping your dentist will have no (less) plaque to clean out. Yay! It also promotes general tooth health and prevents plaque build-up, tooth decay, loss of teeth, gum infections, and gum recession.
Many sources say that oral bacteria and poor oral hygiene are linked to several other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even….. infertility. With just 30 seconds a day (!) tongue scraping is the easiest and cheapest way to prevent serious diseases. And you want to boost your immunity too, right? The tongue is part of the first line of defense in the immune system. Tongue scraping prevents toxins from being reabsorbed into the body and boosts overall health and immune function.
Yes, you really need to use a real tongue scraper
I always thought that I was already tongue scraping because I used to clean my tongue with the back of my tooth brush. Only when I bought a real tongue scraper I noticed a huge difference in the gunk that was coming out. A toothbrush can never remove the micro-organisms from the tongue the right way. A stainless steel tongue scraper does the work though.
I really like this super-stylish stainless steel tongue scraper that comes with a travel pooch (super convenient).
How to tongue scrape?
Ideally, you should scrape your tongue after waking up before brushing your teeth, eating or drinking. I don’t even speak to anyone before I have scraped my tongue. That’s how ”unclean” I feel when I don’t do it haha.
So you just open your mouth wide in front of a mirror above the sink, stick your tongue out as far as you can (comfortable) and start scraping from the back. Don’t go all the way back and move a bit closer to the front if you start to gag. Scrape your tongue in gentle but firm movements down and in between shake the gunk from your scraper out in the sink. Yuk….Rinse it also after each scrape. Do this over your entire tongue about 3-5 times and/or until your scraper comes up clean. That’s it. Preferably morning and evening, but I only scrape my tongue in the morning.
As you can tell, it is not difficult. The only tricky part about tongue scraping is that you will need to feel how far you can scrape your tongue in the back without being uncomfortable. In the back of the tongue is the most bacteria build-up.
Are you scraping your tongue? I can highly recommend it.