There are hundreds of tiny lines running along the surface of your tongue where harmful bacteria hide out, feeding on food leftovers and dead cells. They have the most fun multiplying while you sleep, when there is less saliva in your mouth to wash them away.
That’s why you wake up with your breath smelling so…unsexy. And with a gross white coating on your tongue. Gently removing this coating with a tongue cleaner each morning is a basic step in assisting your body’s natural detoxification processes.
Research has shown that scraping is much more effective than a toothbrush at removing tongue bacteria. A toothbrush mostly just moves bacteria around on your tongue, instead of scraping it off. Mouthwashes usually contain alcohol which masks breath for a short time, but then the alcohol dries out your mouth leading to worse breath. Some recent research suggests it can also kill off some of the good microbes hanging out in your mouth.
Our oral microbiome is made up of good and bad bacteria, but an overgrowth of bad bacteria occurs when the mouth is dry.
This is why you tongue scrape once a day in the morning: because there is an accumulation of bad bacteria that grows on your tongue during the night when you have dry mouth – throwing the delicate balance between bad and good bacteria out of whack. Your body alerts you to this fact through.. your morning breath! All you have to do is listen 🙂
The colour of what comes off can vary according to your diet, lifestyle, and general oral hygiene. It may be white, yellow, green or brown. In Ayurveda the appearance of the tongue provides important insight into one’s general health and is often used as a diagnosis tool.
The Indian Ayurvedic gurus have been scraping for the past 2000 years, and tongue scraping remains very common in India. Alongside dry brushing and warm lemon water, it is part of a daily Ayurvedic cleansing routine.
In reality, tongue cleaning has been popular in most ancient cultures including Egypt, China…even Napoleon had a tongue cleaner. At some point in modern history, it just fell out of fashion in the West.
I consider myself lucky that my mom introduced me to the Ayurvedic practice of tongue scraping when I was young. My brother and I certainly thought it odd at the time, but I now look back on it and give her a nod because she was definitely onto something. Things have now come full-circle, and I am excited to share with you the copper tongue cleaner by Cosmic Dealer – Named Vanity Fair’s most hype beauty tool of 2020!
– Why copper: it is antimicrobial – so bacteria can’t grow on it (it’s actually the surface material where Covid dies the fastest). It also lasts pretty much forever and is not evil plastic 🙂