Today we're going to talk about something kind of gross.
Something we all [hopefully] care about. So here we are, about to discuss tongue scraper benefits.
I'm one of those weird people who loves going to the dentist. To me, there's nothing more satisfying than the feeling of gliding my tongue over my slippery teeth after leaving the dentist's office when everything just feeling so fresh and so squeaky clean.
Last year when I started going to acupuncture my doctor always checked out my tongue at the beginning of my session. So much of our internal health can be revealed here--GI issues, blood stagnation, the list goes on and on. She always had a sense of what was going on with me based upon my tongue, and she was right. I got kind of tongue obsessed and began endlessly researching how connected it is to our overall health which is when I decided I needed a tongue scraper. It's important for me to make a clear distinction here. I'm not suggesting that using a tongue scraper with eliminate the health issues your tongue is able to indicate you have. In fact, if you do see an acupuncturist I don't suggest using a tongue scraper right before your visit as to not disguise issues she may be able to detect. I am suggesting though that the health of your tongue will contribute to the overall health of so much else in your body, which is how it will help minimize some of those issues. Here's what it WILL do:
Benefits of Using a Tongue Scraper:
Oral Hygiene: We spend time brushing and flossing to make sure we have healthy teeth and gums. Tongue scraping increases general oral health by removing additional toxins and bacteria. It aids in even healthier teeth and gums; helping to avoid plaque, tooth decay, gum infections, etc.
Breath: We have good bacteria and bad bacteria. A tongue scraper helps to remove some of the bacteria which will undoubtedly increase oral hygiene which has a direct impact on, you guess it, funky breath!
Taste: Imagine what kind of happy dance your taste buds are going to do when they're exposed and can do what they're there to do! Many people find it helps to minimize overeating and certain cravings because your taste buds feel more satisfied.
Internal Health: Your mouth is kind of the vehicle that gets everything to the rest of your body, right? So the bad bacteria in your mouth doesn't just stay in your mouth...it flows everywhere once swallowed! (I find that thought so gross.) Eliminating some of what's bad from entering the rest of your body just makes sense, right?
Now, I hear you..."But I do clean my tongue! I brush it when I brush my teeth!" Yeah, that's better than nothing...but your toothbrush is designed to cleanse solid--not spongy--surfaces, like your teeth. A tongue scraper is designed specifically for this purpose. There are a few different options for tongue scrapers--plastic, stainless steel, or copper. I personally use a copper one because copper is an antimicrobial surface that helps kill bacteria (so while it's sitting around between cleaning it'll be healthier for you) plus it provides enzymes that are healthy for your mouth! However, a stainless steel one is just fine. I personally avoid plastic. So, what do you do?
How to Use a Tongue Scraper:
1. Put the curved part of your tongue scraper toward the back of your mouth, squeezing the sides of the 'U', making sure it fits properly in your mouth. Relax your tongue, and scrap forward. It is very important that your tongue is relaxed so you can really clean it. You'll feel what I mean once you do it. I do this 7-10 times, rinsing the scraper between each time...you'll get a sense for what's enough by the change in color of your tongue.
2. If you feel like you're gagging start closer to the front of your mouth and as you get used to tongue scraping move further back. You will eventually want to make sure you're getting way back there because that's where a lot of the really nasty stuff lives.
3. Rinse your mouth and follow with your normal teeth cleaning process.
4. Cleanse your tongue scraper.
5. Repeat the tongue scraping process prior to brushing your teeth morning and evening.
You know how you can't possibly leave the house without brushing your teeth (at least I hope...)? That's how I now also am with tongue scraping. It's just such a part of the teeth cleaning process for me that I can't imagine not doing it. I buy a pack of 6 from Amazon (like everything in life) and it comes out to about $1 a pop! Seriously. It's a no brainer. As always, here's the link to my amazon shop.