When I ordered my copper water bottle online, it arrived with this odd u-shaped piece of copper as well. I didn’t know what it was, but it sort of looked like tiny tongs so I threw it in the kitchen utensil drawer and promptly forgot about it. Then just recently I was researching detox rituals, and I came across the practice of tongue scraping. That’s when I realized that those tiny copper tongs were actually a tongue scraper!
I had never heard of tongue scraping before, so I started looking into it. It turns out that tongue scraping is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual, but its benefits have recently been backed by many scientific studies. I learned that almost half of the bacteria in your mouth live on and in your tongue, but we generally don’t pay as much attention to it as we do our teeth and gums. The coating on the tongue is full of bacteria, food debris, toxins, and dead cells, so it makes sense to take the short time to clean it as well. I decided to try tongue scraping out, and here’s why I think you should too.
Why You Should Scrape Your Tongue
1. Improve Oral Health
The results of a study showed that men who took up tongue scraping for one week without changing any other habits significantly decreased two types of bacteria that are closely correlated with cavities and plaque build-up.
2. Treat Bad Breath
Another study showed that tongue scraping treats bad breath by reducing volatile sulfur compounds (which are linked to bad breath) by 75% in one week. That study also found that tongue scraping was even more effective than a toothbrush at doing so.
3. Increase Taste Sensation
In yet another study participants used a tongue scraper for two weeks and reported that their taste sensation for bitter, sweet, salt, and sour improved, even more so than cleaning their tongue with a toothbrush.
You can get tongue scrapers made from all different metals, however, I am glad that mine is copper. Copper is a bacteria-resistant metal and also provides important enzymes.
How to Use a Tongue Scraper
1. Stick your tongue out slightly while still allowing it to be relaxed.
2. Hold each side of the tongue scraper and reach it to the back of your tongue.
3. Gently scrape one strip of the tongue from back to front in one stroke.
4. Rinse the tongue scraper under water.
5. Reach to the back of your tongue with it again and scrape from back to front slightly to the side of the first stroke.
6. Rinse the tongue scraper.
7. Repeat until you have gone all the way across the width of your tongue. I usually find this takes about 5-8 strokes.
8. Follow up with brushing, flossing, and drinking a glass of water.
It really is a fast and simple practice with big benefits.
Have you ever tried tongue scraping?