Good Habits: Tongue Scraping

digestion begins in your mouth | oral health | tongue scraping

You may brush and floss daily, but do you scrape your tongue?

Tongue scraping is an ancient Aryuvedic practice, and it is a crucial part of my morning routine as a “preventative lifestyle” habit that compliments brushing, flossing, and oil pulling.

Digestion begins in your mouth.

You may hear a lot about gut health but what about oral health? Your mouth is where digestion starts. 👄

Your tongue is connected to the rest of your body.

Various parts of your tongue are connected to the rest of your body, and an important indicator of your health. Your tongue is also covered in thousands of taste buds, called papillae, which are critical nerves connected to your brain. The characteristics of your tongue can tell a lot about your body including it’s colour, coating, and shape. According to eastern medicine where the whole body is interconnected, abnormalities may indicate dysfunction in the related organs your tongue is mapped to.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a gray coating on the tongue usually indicates gastrointestinal imbalances, indigestion, and bad eating habits. Ayurveda also draws a meaningful connection between your tongue and overall health by diagnosing your tongue’s characteristics. Scraping your tongue every morning is a simple way to remove toxicity in your body.

Don’t ever forget that your entire body is connected. Our current conventional (and broken) healthcare system sends you to different “specialists” per body part, when your body needs to be treated as a whole.

digestion begins in your mouth | oral health | tongue scraping
digestion begins in your mouth

Benefits of Tongue Scraping

Improves your taste. 

By removing the coating, your ability to taste food will improve which means your meals will be more satisfying and satiating. The more you enjoy your meal, the stronger the signal is sent to your brain to signify that you are full. This study confirmed that cleaning your tongue increased also perceived intensity of salt, meaning that it could prevent people from adding too much salt to their food. An improved ability to taste may also reduce the need for more sugar and flavoring in food.

Better Digestion.

Since digestion begins in your mouth when enzymes from saliva are breaking down food particles, you can improve your digestion by scraping away impurities on our tongue to clear up your taste buds. Impaired taste buds will interfere with the clarity of the signal you send to your brain when food enters your mouth. The more you are able to taste and enjoy your food, the more enzymes are created, aiding in digestion.

No more bad breath.

The film on your tongue contains bacteria and if left untreated, it can cause issues such as bad breath. The bacteria could also travel down your digestive tract into your gut, hence the importance of oral health!

It may improve your immunity.

By scraping away impurities on your tongue, you will prevent the build up of accumulated bacteria and toxins your body is naturally discharging.

How to Scrape your Tongue:

What: Make sure to use a real copper tongue scraper. Copper has been used for centuries as a bacteria-resistant metal, and it also provides important enzymes that are needed for the healthy microbes in the mouth to survive.

When: Scrape your tongue in the morning right when you wake up, followed by brushing.

How: Gently scrape your copper u-shaped tongue scraper and start from as far back of your tongue as possible to the front for 10-15 strokes. Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth. 

Tongue Scraping Tips

  • The secret is to not do it too hard. Be gentle! If you experiencing irritation, you maybe scraping your tongue too hard.
  • Do this every single day as part of your morning and oral health routine.
  • Keep your tongue scraper clean.
  • Do not scrape your tongue if you have open cuts and sores on your tongue.
  • Don’t share your tongue scraper (like a toothbrush!).

Cheers to oral health! 😬

digestion begins in your mouth | oral health | tongue scraping

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