Did you know that bad breath is often caused by a buildup of bacteria on the tongue? This means that even after brushing your teeth thoroughly, flossing and using a mouthwash, you might still be leaving behind bacteria that not only smells unpleasant, but can actually lead to more serious issues like tongue decay.
Many people do know this, so they give their tongue a quick brush with a toothbrush each morning- but the soft bristles of a toothbrush aren't designed for this, so they don't actually remove the layers of bacteria from the surface of the tongue.
The solution? A tongue cleaner! A tongue cleaner or scraper is the best way to clean the tongue, and has been a part of my routine for years now, and I'm obsessed with the Ayurvedic practise of tongue cleaning. I feel so much better each morning after using it! A copper tongue scraper or stainless steel tongue scraper is a really affordable, but essential, addition to your daily dental hygiene routine. Read on for the benefits of tongue scraping.
Tongue scraper benefits:
1. Tongue Cleaning helps to stops bad breath
Tongue cleaning can actually help to combat bad breath, helping to remove the bacteria which contributes to bad-smelling breath. Most cases of bad breath can be caused by residue left on the tongue, especially towards the back of the tongue which is often harder to reach. Food particles, soft plaque and build-up can sit on the tongue and cannot always be completely removed with a toothbrush, floss or mouthwash alone. Even if you don't have really bad breath, your mouth will feel fresher after tongue cleaning.
2. Tongue scraping may help reduce tooth decay
Ridding the tongue of residue and soft plaque also helps to reduce the amount of bad bacteria in the mouth, and can actually reduce the amount of plaque building up on your teeth. This can help lessen your chances of getting cavities and tooth decay, meaning less trips to the dentist, saving you time and money.
3. Tongue scraping may actually stimulate our taste buds
Tongue cleaning can also help to improve overall taste perception. A coating or layer of residue on the tongue can actually dull our taste buds, making us less receptive to tastes as well as when to stop eating. Removing this fine layer helps to stimulate and gently massage the tongue, and almost 'reactivates' the taste buds.
How to use a tongue scraper:
They might look a little strange at first, but a tongue cleaner is actually really easy to use and you will feel so much better for it! Before brushing your teeth, relax the tongue and use the cleaner to gently scrape from the back of the tongue to the front, reaching back only as far as you feel comfortable. Repeat this process five times, rinsing the tongue scraper in between. Follow this with your regular dental hygiene routine - oil pulling, cleaning your teeth with a natural toothpaste, flossing and rinsing.
You should use your tongue scraper at least once a day- always first thing in the morning, and ideally a second time in the evening.
The best tongue scrapers:
I have two favourite tongue cleaners- a copper tongue scraper and a stainless steel tongue scraper.
The Dr Tung's Tongue Cleaner was the first tongue cleaner I ever tried and remains a firm favourite, and it appears I'm not alone- it has over 500 5 star reviews on Nourished Life!
Dr Tung's Tongue Cleaner gently scrapes off unwanted bacteria and soft plaque, a job made easy with the U-shaped stainless steel cleaner. Each tongue cleaner comes with a free bamboo travel pouch, when buying more than one at a time, we always send different colours out. The Dr Tung's Tongue Cleaner is the #1 selling tongue cleaner on the market, used and recommended by dentists*.
It is made from stainless steel with the perfect curved edge to help remove bacteria and plaque on the tongue's surface, designed to gently scrape off unwanted bacteria and soft plaque from the tongue.
A slightly more recent addition to my bathroom counter is the Black Chicken Remedies Copper Tongue Cleaner. Copper is a particularly useful metal for tongue scraping as it is bacteria resistant and able to expel toxins without contaminating the scraper over time.
Given that nearly 50% of the bacteria in our mouths is actually found on the tongue, it's essential to remove it properly. Rather than relying on your existing dental products to get the job done, work a tongue cleaner into your routine to ensure your breath is as fresh and clean as possible.
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