For months I was plagued by stomach pains when I woke up in the morning, I tried numerous methods to fix it and was almost always left stumped. Until one day, to my surprise, I stumbled across some research that indicated cleaning your tongue every day was essential to your digestive health. As someone who has passionately searched for the best ways to stay healthy for over 10 years now, I was shocked that I had never heard of tongue cleaning before.
Naturally, after reading about the many benefits I decided to dive in and try it for myself. To my happiness, I found after a few short days my stomach pains began to go away. With the pains disappearing and my mouth's freshness increasing, I found myself hooked! My success left me with a burning desire to share my experience with others in the hopes that tongue cleaning could improve their lives like it had mine. To learn all about tongue scraping, its history, and health benefits be sure to read on!
What is a Tongue Scraper Exactly?
A tongue scraper or a tongue cleaner is an oral hygiene device that cleans off bacteria, food debris, fungi, AMA, and dead cells from the surface of your tongue. AMA is an Ayurvedic term for the undigested waste that is deposited on your tongue.
It performs two to five times better than a toothbrush (1
Is Cleaning My Tongue Even Necessary?
Today we know that scraping and removing bacteria and fungi from our tongues helps with many oral health issues such as bad breath, tongue color, taste sensation, and cavities. This Ayurvedic practice claims to help facilitate the healthy functioning of the body's respiratory, digestive, and immune systems. Evidence has shown that plaque-forming streptococcal bacterial counts increased tenfold after a week of not brushing the tongue.
Tongue scraping and brushing have been practiced for centuries in Europe, Africa, Arabia, India, and South America, but this practice is unfortunately almost unknown among Western civilizations (2
Why Choose Copper?
Using a copper tongue cleaner to clean your tongue dates back to a 3000-year-old Ayurvedic technique developed in India. Humanity has been using copper as medicine for thousands of years in many different applications. The Egyptians treated chest wounds with it and sterilized drinking water in copper vessels (3
Modern-day research has shown that copper is the best material for a tongue cleaner to be constructed, mainly because of its anti-microbial properties. Today we know that once dry 99.9% of bacteria will not survive on a copper surface after 2 hours (5
). In comparison, stainless steel, which has little to no anti-microbial properties, has been found to host harmful bacteria for up to 3 weeks or longer (8
). Copper not only is harmful bad bacteria, but it is an essential cofactor for specific microbial enzymes
witch can help the good bacteria in your mouth (9
Copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for the proper function of the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular systems (10
). Simply by using the copper tongue cleaner daily, your body will absorb traces of this beneficial mineral.
In conclusion, copper is the best option for cleaning your tongue and much cheaper than gold and silver tongue cleaners.
Here Are 5 of My Favorite Reasons to Clean Your Tongue Everyday:
1. Fresher Breath
There are many benefits to cleaning your tongue daily. The first one you might notice is your breath is much fresher than before. Ridding your tongue of bacteria, volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) and the waste from your digestive tract helps put a stop to 85% of bad-breath-causing Halitosis (11)
). Using a toothbrush alone to clean your tongue does not remove this harmful bacteria. Rather than scraping and removing bacteria, toothbrushes merely move it around your mouth (13
Scraping your tongue can even save you money on gum and breath mints! Rather than masking bad breath, you are removing it at the source by scraping your tongue.
2. Better Taste Bud Function
If the first reason isn't enough for you to start cleaning your tongue then consider this: Your food will taste better with a clean tongue! Simply, if you don't have dead cells and bacteria blocking your taste receptors than it's clear sailing to flavour town (14
. You need your taste for digestion as well. The instant food hits your tongue your body starts producing the digestive enzymes it needs to digest your food. If your tongue is clean then you will produce more of the right digestive enzymes for your food to digest correctly. Ayurveda teaches us that blocked taste buds interfere with our body’s ability to communicate with our brain. This disconnect to the food we eat can lead to false food cravings.
If your food is not tasting as good as it used to, give a tongue cleaner a try!
3. Natural, Healthy-looking Tongue
Tired of your tongue looking white,
black, brown, or even green? Well scraping your tongue is the only natural way to restore it to its natural reddish-pink color. Scrape your tongue once - or better yet twice a day to remove the gunk on your tongue and restore it to its natural color (15
). This could be oral thrush a yeast Infection in your mouth and you don't want that (17
). I had quite the white coating on my tongue and I can tell you I do not miss seeing it every day. So If you can't remember what your reddish pinkish tongue looked like, this is the perfect tool to refresh your memory.
4. Dental Health
Yes ridding your tongue of VSC, dead cell, bacteria, fungus, toxins, and AMA can help your dental health. Doing this every day will help reduces gum disease, plaque build-up, cavities, gum infections, gum recession, and even loss of teeth. This will help make your mouth healthier as well as the rest of your body (18
). I found my tongue feels nice and fresh now that I clean my tongue every day when I wake up. For best results: scrape your tongue, floss your teeth and then brush your teeth - in that order. This is best done first thing in the morning and ideally twice a day. It is a great tool to help you to improve your dental game.
5. Improved Overall Health
The tongue is the gatekeeper for your mouth and it's health affects the rest of your body too. This includes your heart, lungs, blood sugar, bones, brain, and even your pregnancy if you have one (18)
. One reason for this is having fewer bacterial microbes in your mouth, which has been shown to have a lower risk of heart disease (19
). If all that wasn't enough scraping your tongue will stimulate your digestive system and the rest of your body. This helps your body get ready to digest your food in the morning. According to Acupuncture and Ayurvedic medicine, your tongue, like your foot, is connected to your whole body (20
Ayurvedic texts state the tongue accumulates a white coating of toxins from the digestive system (21
). If not removed these toxins are reabsorbed by the body and cause digestive, respiratory and Immune system illnesses (22
). This is why it's important to scrape your tongue first thing in the morning. In my personal experience, this is true. When I first started cleaning my tongue daily my morning stomach aches went away. If you have any related health problems cleaning your tongue is definitely worth a try.
Why I Love Tongue Cleaning!
My favorite part about cleaning my tongue is it only takes about 20 seconds a day. It is a simple task, easier than brushing your teeth and more enjoyable - even fun and satisfying. With all the improved health benefits you notice from doing it every day it also makes it easy to apply to your normal morning routine. My tongue, mouth, and stomach have never felt so good after I started doing it daily. This is one of my favorite new healthy practices and I'm happy to share it with you. Once I started I could not stop cleaning my tongue.
I liked them so much I decided to to to start selling my own brand FDA certified copper tongue cleaners. I test them out personally to assure their high quality and effectiveness. You can find them on the links below.
How to Tongue Scrape:
1. First, get a tongue cleaner ideally with a handle so you can easily hold it. Best done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and before brushing your teeth. Use a mirror so you can easily see your tongue.
2. Gently open your mouth and stick out your relaxed, flattened tongue. Hold the handles with both hands, then smoothly enter the tongue cleaners curved end into your mouth and all the way to the back of your tongue. If you gag, you've gone too far, you can also try exhaling to prevent this.
3. Connect to the back of the tongue and gently stroke the tongue from back to front with one long stroke scraping the whole surface of the tongue.
4. You will have some gunk on the end of the tongue cleaner. Simply rinse the tongue cleaners' curved end with hot water. If you do not have any water available then wipe it off with a cloth or tissue paper.
5. Repeat the process around 5 - 15 times, until the tongue cleaner looks clean after scraping.