If you think all your teeth require is the regular regimen of brushing, flossing and cleaning, then you might just be surprised to hear this! New research has thrown up startling facts on just how important is it to use a proper tongue scraper to keep those unhealthy sediments on your tongue away.
Leaving aside the cosmetic problem and even halitosis, which is bad odor to the layman, an unclean tongue can actually cause a staggering range of diseases, infections and illnesses.
Being strongly advocated by dentists for over 50 years for sound dental health, the practice of tongue scraping keeps you free of germs, bacteria and other harmful organisms, helping you stay healthy. Read for a detailed explanation of each such benefit.
Using a tongue scraper is part of the daily routine that Ayurveda (the timeless ancient Indian science of life) has advised for over 5,000 years to remove toxic gunk, bacterias that cause tooth decay and bad breath, with results that are not those of folklore, but scientifically proven.
When you wake up in the morning, take a look at your tongue in the mirror. It’s one of the main diagnostic tools used in Ayurveda because it can tell you what’s going on with digestion even before any changes manifest in your bowels. If you notice a thick, excessive, unpleasant-tasting coating on your tongue, there is ama in your digestive tract—a poisonous residue of undigested food—showing that your digestion is abnormal or weak. Ayurveda considers ama to be the beginning stage of any disease.
A thin, slightly white and moist coating is normal and indicates good digestion. Whether your tongue coating is normal or excessive, you should scrape off the toxins that normally accumulate after a night of sleep.
Removal of the gunk on your tongue is done with a special tongue scraper. It’s a V-shaped, thin metal tool that costs less than $10 and will literally last a lifetime. Though Ayurveda recommends a gold, silver or copper tongue scraper, depending on your prakriti (individual constitution), stainless steel is good for all constitutions and much more affordable.
Since we should be trying to eliminate plastic in general for all of its health and earth-harming impacts, plastic is not advised. Nor is a toothbrush recommended for this job. Brushing your tongue doesn’t have the same effect as a tongue scraper. It tends to relocate the bacteria or embed them in your toothbrush rather than remove them. Aggressively brushing your tongue can also irritate the taste buds. There’s really no substitute for a special tongue scraper.
1. Stay disease-free
When you scrape your tongue regularly, you prevent the harmful bacteria and toxic, undigested food particles (also known as ama) from getting into your digestive system. There are plenty of studies to show that when such particles enter your digestive tract, it can actually cause problems like ulcers and other infections. Interestingly, research also shows that your tongue is an important diagnostic organ. Any abnormal spots, marks and discoloration will be a sign of an impending disease. Hence, keeping it clean will help you spot out any such abnormalities well in time.
2. Keep your teeth clean and healthy
Quite similar to the beneficial effects of daily brushing, scraping your tongue as a part of your dental healthcare will help in improving your overall tooth and gum hygiene and health. A few strong benefits for dental health include minimal tooth decay, lesser gum problems and build-up of plaque.
3. Breathe and smell fresh
Research shows just how removing the grime on your tongue helps eliminate harmful bacteria, dead cells and food remnants that might cause bad mouth odor. In fact, research also shows that bad breath is more often a result of harmful bacteria residing on your tongue than that of a gum disease.
4. Fight effects of addictive habits
If you are one of those who are addicted or habituated to having too much of tea, coffee or alcohol, scraping your tongue in the right manner every day will ensure that you don’t end up with the typical tooth-stains associated with such habits. Even if you are a smoker or enjoy strong-flavored foods, this daily dental ritual can save you from bad breath and other problems.
5. Improve your taste buds
Believe it or not, regularly scraping your tongue will enhance the power of your taste buds. When the grime from the deposit on your tongue will be absent, it is natural for you to find your daily food much tastier.
Notes to remember:
Either use only a proper tongue scraper/cleaner, designed specifically for the purpose or use a soft toothbrush to clean your tongue. You can even use a clean teaspoon or Popsicle stick in case you don’t have anything else handy.
Never rub or scrape too hard. You might even damage your taste buds if you do so.
Always remember to rinse your mouth properly after cleaning your tongue to remove any debris.