Dental health is seriously trending right now; from Kendall’s whitening Moon pen to pretty much every influencer’s fave teeth whitening gadget. But as intrigued as we are with the latest advancements in oral health; it’s the ancient practice of tongue scraping that we’re currently obsessing over. It’s super simple, it’s basically free, and it has tons of health benefits. To get the full lowdown, we spoke to celebrity nutritionist Dr. Oz Garcia and cosmetic dentist Dr. Ghalili for their top tips. Here’s what they had to say…
What is tongue scraping?
Ok, so we realize it sounds kinda gross but Dr. Ghalili explains “Tongue scraping is the method to remove the remainder of the food, possible bacteria, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue and therefore out of the body.” Dr. Garcia adds, “Tongue scraping is nothing new and has been a part of Ayurvedic practice since ancient times. A scraper is designed to fit the anatomy of the tongue and scrape off bacteria and flora on the tongue that can produce volatile sulfur compounds.”
Why you need to start scraping… like NOW
Dental benefits: Dr. Garcia outlines the benefits of tongue scraping; “Tongue scraping can clear up bad breath and help to prevent an incidence of periodontal disease [gum disease].” Dr. Ghalili agrees, saying tongue scraping helps “To remove bacteria and toxins and this prevents them from getting reabsorbed into the body. This improves problems with bad breath and improves overall health.”
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Other health benefits: But the benefits don’t stop at helping with bad breath, it’ll help remove toxins from your body, increasing your bodies immunity, and improving your health in general. Plus, don’t forget fewer toxins in your body = better skin. Dr. Ghalili explains how it works, “When bacteria and other possible pathogens remain on the tongue and get reabsorbed by the bloodstream, it can cause serious health issues all throughout the body.” Plus, Dr. Garcia notes that it’s the perfect practice to get into whenever you’re feeling under the weather, “Since bacteria lingers on the tongue, it’s especially beneficial to do regular tongue scraping when you’re sick with a cold or infection.” Oh, and last but not least, it’ll enhance your taste buds as there’s less mucus on your tongue – err, yes, please!
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How to use a tongue scraper
The tools: Dr. Garcia recommends, “The tongue scrapers made from copper, tin or brass [which you can buy on Amazon, $8, here]. Using an ergonomic one only designed for tongue scraping is much more effective than using a toothbrush.” Whereas Dr. Ghalili keeps it simple, suggesting “A toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Both are effective. If you use a toothbrush, it is easier to use without toothpaste.”
The technique: With firm yet gentle movements, scrape the surface of your tongue with singular, long strokes using your tongue scraping tool, then rinse your tool in water. Repeat this five to ten times. Follow with mouthwash, flossing, and then brush your teeth as usual.
Let us know if you guys use a tongue scraper in the comments below.