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Tongue Scraping 101

We all know that we are supposed to brush and floss our teeth after meals. It is ingrained in us from the time we are small children. There is also a lesser known process for oral health that can make a difference in our overall health. This process is referred to as tongue scraping.

Where Did Tongue Scraping Begin?

Tongue scraping began over 5,000 years ago in India in Ayurvedic medicine, one of the oldest medical systems in existence. The Indians believed that the tongue was representative of overall health in the body.

What Is The Proper Tool To Use?

Some people use a brush to scrape their tongue. It is believed, however, that this can push bacteria deeper into the tongue. The best tool to use will be made of some type of metal. It will be curved or U-shaped. This eliminates any sharp edges that may cause damage to the tongue or to the mouth.

How Often Tongue Should Be Scraped?

While the teeth should be brushed and flossed several times a day, tongue scraping should be done once or twice daily before brushing.

What Is The Proper Way To Scrape The Tongue?

When scraping the tongue, long strokes should be used. The strokes should begin at the back of the tongue and go towards the front. This should be repeated several times. When the tongue scraping is finished, the mouth should be rinsed with mouth wash to remove any excess bacteria or scrapings left behind.

Three Interesting Facts About Tongue Scraping

  1.  In Chinese Medicine, many illnesses throughout the body are diagnosed by the health of the tongue and the location of any abnormalities or issues on the tongue. Each location on the tongue correlates to an area of the body.
  2. It is believed that scraping the tongue improves the sense of taste, decreasing the use of salt and sugar in foods, and thus improving overall health.
  3. George Washington has a traveling tooth kit on display in Mount Vernon. In this kit, he has a tongue scraper.The body is amazing in the way that everything works together to maintain life. It is a long believed theory that the mouth can contribute to the overall state of health in the body. Tongue scraping is a very beneficial process that should be added to everyone’s oral health practices. If done the correct way, it will remove harmful bacteria, improving breath, health and overall well being.