Let's be real, our tongues can get pretty gross. Between the foods we eat, drinks we consume, and the pen caps, nails, and who else knows what that we chew on throughout the day, the nooks and crannies on our tongue make for great hiding spots for debris and bacteria. And what does that debris and bacteria do? You guessed it. That buildup is responsible for bad breath, poor digestion, subpar tastebuds, and the start of weak immunity. But fear not!
Luckily, cleaning your tongue is a simple and gentle task that can be done with a tongue scraper and only requires 20 seconds of your time each day (10 seconds in the AM, and 10 seconds in the PM). Here are our favorite tongue scraping tips:
1. Choose a scraper the fits on your mouth. Find a scraper that easily fits your mouth. You shouldn't feel like you are over extending your mouth when tongue scraping.
2. Use 100% copper tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers can be made from plastic or metal. Plastic tongue scrapers typically don't last as long, and have been shown to collect and retain bacteria. Tongue scrapers made from metal like stainless steel are great because they last much longer, but per Ayurvedic philosophy, we love copper tongue scrapers for the additional benefits they bring. Copper is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial so it will only remove the bad bacteria from your tongue, leaving the good bacteria to thrive and support your oral microbiome.
3. Always rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. To avoid any unnecessary irritation, give your tongue scraper a quick run under the faucet before using. After use, give it a good rinse to remove any stubborn debris that might be hanging on.
4. Scrape from back to front (and remember the sides!) To avoid making room for toxins and bacteria to re-enter the body, always make sure to scrape from back to front. Bacteria also collects on the sides of the tongue so it's important to scrape those areas as well.
5. Be gentle. Tongue scraping is meant to be a gentle practice so don't press too hard. If it causes pain or bleeding, you are using too much pressure
6. Always start your mornings with tongue scraping. Bad bacteria and gunk accumulate on your tongue overnight while you sleep. Make sure you to scrape your tongue first thing in the morning before consuming any food or beverages, so that you can remove all toxins and avoid them from re-entering the body, and so that you activate your taste buds so that that morning brew or favorite breakfast meal tastes that much better.
7. Stop if your tongue is irritated. Don’t scrape your tongue if it causes pain or irritation.
As with all matters related to your health, always check with your health care practitioner if you are ever in doubt of what wellness practices are most suitable for you.