Is it just me, or is everyone talking about tongue scrapers?
I'll never forget the moment I learned about cleaning my tongue. It was in palm springs, I was a junior in high school, and I was watching my best guy friend brush his teeth before we went out to meet our friends at the hotel pool. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he started brushing his tongue really fast with his toothbrush. I was SHOOK, to say the least. I was like, "what are you doing? what is that? do you do that every day?" Honestly just wondering if I should be doing it and where my parents went wrong raising me as a child.
You'll be happy to hear that I've been brushing my tongue ever since. Only because I thought it was just part of the normal brushing routine, not because of all the benefits I've learned over the past year.
Which is also funny, because as I'm researching online now to fact check what I "know," there's surprisingly not a lot of information on the world wide web about tongue cleaning. And now thinking about it, I can't even remember where I learned most of the information I currently know about tongue cleaning. I think it was podcasts and just purely through social media...
If you're familiar with the Medical Medium, he is a big proponent of tongue cleaning for gut health. It's also a common foundation in Ayurvedic practices, which I don't know too much about but I know their base also surrounds gut health. And if you've heard of IsaTales, that weird girl with the blog, she also loves gut health because it has a direct correlation to mental health, and that's her soft spot. So anyway, if we draw the lines and cross the Ts (definitely not how that saying goes) then we can conclude that tongue brushing, therefore, improves your mental health.
Ok, maybe that is a terrible way of providing reasonable evidence. For my fact junkies out there, Healthline states that tongue scraping (or brushing) improves your sense of taste, removes odor causing bacteria, prevents gum disease, etc. But if we're being honest, this isn't the reason that I use a tongue scraper. This is why I use a tongue scraper:
Ever since brushing my tongue before breakfast, I've noticed a substantial change in my digestion. Brushing your tongue before meals help nutrients break down. Think of it as cleaning a dinner plate with a dirty rag. You definitely don't want to do that. You want to clean it with a clean rag, ya know?
I also vividly remember watching a YouTube video with Erik (Ehaus, e-money, I've never called him that before but you guys know who he is by now) of this spiritual guy in Africa who he follows that often does long water fasts. This guy will legit fast for 40+ days if he has an illness, and he heals it. Every time. I'm not saying this is for everyone, and I'm definitely not saying that you should try to water fast for 40+ days, but I'm just saying that he showed us his tongue once after 3 days of fasting and it was filled with white gunk. He explained that this is a sign of your body detoxing. It just rids all this junk on your tongue.
So now every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is scrape my tongue and brush my teeth with water, then chug 500ml of water, then brush my teeth with paste. I'm OCD and I don't like chugging water with white toxic gunk on my tongue, nor do I like chugging water post brushing my teeth with fluoride. So I make it a little 3 step process thingy, and I'm down with it.
My all time favorite tongue cleaner is the one I use on the reg by Akamai, because it's stainless steel so it's easy to clean and I don't feel bad throwing it in the dishwasher. I've tried a plastic one before, but I'm hesitant about plastic oral care because I worry about it melting or becoming toxic if I clean it with hot water.
Akamai has loads of great information on their site about tongue cleaning, including tips and an easily digestible how-to, so I definitely encourage you to check it out if you have time.
As always, feel free to email me or DM me with your thoughts, questions or experiences with tongue cleaning!