Best tongue scrapers: benefits, how to use & reviews

 
Alexia G. Studio

Alexia G. Studio

Alexia G Studio

Did you know your tongue is a mirror reflection of your internal organs? Just like with foot mapping, the tongue is mapped out to reflect various parts of your internal body. By scraping your tongue, you are actually stimulating and massaging those corresponding internal organs, just like in acupressure or acupuncture. Cool, right? But most importantly, taking a look at your tongue every morning helps to audit the health of your entire body. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the choices of the last several days, months, or years and see how they have affected your health. If a thick coating is noted, you are accumulating toxins. By noting this, it gives you a chance to become more self-aware and make new, healthier choices. 

Tongue scraping? Sounds painful… it’s not! The unsung hero of dental health, tongue scraping has been around since ancient times in India. Ayurveda recommends scraping the tongue as part of your morning self-care routine to remove the film of bacteria, food debris, dead cells and toxins that builds up on your tongue while you sleep. During sleep the body is resting, but the digestive system is awake… working to detoxify itself. These toxins are deposited on the surface of the tongue via the internal excretory channels, and are responsible for the coating usually seen on the tongue first thing in the morning. That film is a good indicator of what’s going on inside your body. The heavier the coating, the more toxins it means your body is trying to eliminate. It can be clear, thick, white, yellow, brown, or even green.

An un-scraped tongue is unhygienic, smelly, and bad for the overall health of your body. Tongue scraping takes seconds. Once you see all the gunk that comes off your tongue, you’ll never go back! 

The ancient Ayurvedic recommendation of tongue scraping is one that is often overlooked. There are many benefits to this daily practice.

BENEFITS OF TONGUE SCRAPING

#1 Improves YOUR breatH

A common source of bad breath comes from the buildup of bacteria, fungi, and dead cells at the back of the tongue. The front of your tongue might look pink and healthy, but stick your tongue out in front of a mirror and examine it way in the back. You’ll probably see white, yellow, or even brown buildup way back there if you aren’t tongue scraping. A popular misconception is that using a toothbrush on your tongue is just as effective as using a tongue scraper. Research suggests otherwise showing that the tongue scraper showed a 75% reduction in bacteria, while the toothbrush only achieved a 45% reduction in bacteria.

 

#2 Improves your ability to taste & digest

Tongue scraping enhances your taste buds and the flavors you experience by removing the gunk that builds up on your tongue. When your tongue is coated in this buildup, your taste buds aren’t fully exposed and cannot completely experience the flavors in your food. By increasing your taste reception, not only do you eat less, you also eliminate the need to add more sugar, salt, or excessive spice to the food to make it more flavorful. Lastly, tongue scraping and a clean tongue both promote saliva production, which helps with your digestion.

 

#3 Avoid toxins from being reabsorbed in your body 

As you sleep, your body is detoxifying. Much of the film on your tongue is toxins excreted from your body.  You want to take advantage of this self-cleaning process.  And most importantly, you DON’T want to re-ingest all those toxins! So before you drink your first morning cup of water, coffee, or juice, scrape your tongue first thing in the morning to remove this sludge!

 

A TONGUE SCRAPING daily practice 

From an Ayurvedic perspective, tongue scraping should be done on a daily basis, preferably first thing in the morning. At Yoom, we do it twice a day, every time we brush our teeth including in the evening before going to bed. 


HOW TO SCRAPE YOUR TONGUE

1. HOLD SCRAPER WITH BOTH HANDS   Tongue scraping involves using a U bent piece of metal to scrape the surface of your tongue. As a first step, hold the tongue scraper with both hands firmly.

1. HOLD SCRAPER WITH BOTH HANDS

Tongue scraping involves using a U bent piece of metal to scrape the surface of your tongue. As a first step, hold the tongue scraper with both hands firmly.

 
2. PLACE THE SCRAPER AT THE BACK OF YOUR TONGUE   Extend the tongue and place the scraper right in front of the bumps we all have at the back of our tongue (try to not scrape those bumps).     3. SCRAPE FROM BACK TO FRONT   Gently scrape forward from the back or base of the tongue using one long stroke, until you have scraped the whole surface. Scrape firmly, but gently. You should see gunk coming together along the edge of the scraper.     4. REPEAT UNTIL THERE IS NO MORE RESIDUE   Rinse the residue off the scraper and begin again. Do this until the tongue feels clean and is free of coating, anywhere between 7-10 times then rinse your mouth & brush your teeth. Wash the scraper well after each use with hot water.      Illustrations by Faustine Badrichani

2. PLACE THE SCRAPER AT THE BACK OF YOUR TONGUE

Extend the tongue and place the scraper right in front of the bumps we all have at the back of our tongue (try to not scrape those bumps).

3. SCRAPE FROM BACK TO FRONT

Gently scrape forward from the back or base of the tongue using one long stroke, until you have scraped the whole surface. Scrape firmly, but gently. You should see gunk coming together along the edge of the scraper.

4. REPEAT UNTIL THERE IS NO MORE RESIDUE

Rinse the residue off the scraper and begin again. Do this until the tongue feels clean and is free of coating, anywhere between 7-10 times then rinse your mouth & brush your teeth. Wash the scraper well after each use with hot water.

Illustrations by Faustine Badrichani

* NOTE TO FIRST TIMERS

When you first get started scraping your tongue, be extra gentle. Your tongue will get used to it quickly. You will be amazed at how much stuff comes off of your tongue in the morning!!

Some people report stimulation of the gag reflex during scraping, which may indicate that the scraping is too aggressive. If this occurs with gentle scraping, begin slightly more forward on the tongue to avoid the gagging reflex.

3 best tongue scrapers

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STAINLESS STEEL TONGUE SCRAPER W/ TRAVEL CASE

  • Medium-sized U curve allows to scrape the entire tongue in each stroke. Best fit for the majority of tongue sizes

  • We recommend getting the set of 2 as tongue scraping is addictive and you will want to introduce the practice to your loved one

  • FDA registered, surgical grade stainless steel

  • Travel case, comes in very handy!

  • Thicker, heavy duty gauge is smooth yet not flimsy

 
 
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COMFORT HANDLES, ADJUSTABLE STAINLESS STEEL TONGUE SCRAPER

  • Adjustable U curve to fit all tongue sizes

  • Ergonomic plastic handles

  • Stainless steel

  • Fabric travel pouch

 
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Traditional Copper Tongue Scraper

  • Superior grade, 100% pure copper

  • Documented in Ayurvedic texts for its healing properties

  • One-size fits all

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Note: We are in no way sponsored by any of the brands above.