Dental Advices Provided to you by: Brite Medical Center
Despite an increased focus on physical, mental, and emotional health in the last couple of years, people often miss out on taking care of their oral well-being. And no, brushing your teeth every day is not enough! In addition to making sure you clean your teeth regularly, it’s also important to scrape your tongue. “During your morning freshen-up times, scraping your tongue with a silver or copper u-shaped scrapper can really keep your overall health in check,” wrote Ayurveda expert Dr Nitika Kohli in an Instagram post.
She explained that cleaning your tongue regularly can “help you get rid of all the toxins in your body”. The expert added, “Not only this, but it also helps in keeping our oral health in check.”
A post shared by Dr Nitika Kohli, Ayurveda (@drnitikakohli)
Agreeing, Dr Puneet, Founder, Karma Ayurveda said that tongue scraping is a cleaning process to maintain oral, physical, and mental health. “It is a process of taking out the coatings on the tongue and bring freshness immediately,” he said.
The expert highlighted that it is an ancient Indian tradition with several benefits. “The tongue and oral cavity are the gateways between your mind-body system and the outside environment; therefore, maintaining the health of this vital organ is critical. Scraping the tongue removes the build-up, which can lead to bad breath and may house many micro-organisms. This coating can result from improper eating, poor digestion, and a reflection of an imbalance of the gastrointestinal system,” Dr Puneet said.
He noted that an early Ayurvedic medical text, Charak Samhita, also recommends cleaning the tongue as it removes foul smell and tastelessness, etc. “This simple practice is a direct way of removing toxins from your physiology.”
He explained that Ayurveda describes a meaningful connection between the tongue and the state of gut health. “Any discolouration in the tongue is indicative of illness or imbalances in specific parts of the body. Various portions of the tongue have relations with different parts of the body. The tongue harbours both beneficial and harmful bacteria. The bacteria and the food particles tend to accumulate between the papillae. If these particles aren’t cleaned in time, they get covered with a mucus lining that leads to persistent bad breath. A clean tongue will help you in better identification of taste and thus leads to lower consumption of salt, sugar, and spices. The lesser the intake of salt, sugar and spices, the better your health would be. So cleaning the tongue is a vital part of your hygiene,” he explained.
How to do it?
Dr Puneet explained the method of doing tongue scrapping correctly.
*Do scraping after brushing; first thing in the morning.
*Open your mouth and gently stick out your tongue.
*Place the scraper firmly at the back of the tongue and pull forward with gentle pressure.
*Rinse the debris from the scraper. The scraping should be as gentle as possible.
*Rinse your mouth once you have completed 3-4 rounds of scraping. This should be adjusted as per the thickness of the coating.
*Rinse the scraper well in hot water after every use and store it.
“Ayurvedic scriptures recommend that an ideal tongue scraper should be either gold, silver, copper, tin or brass,” he added.
Dos and Don’ts
“Like brushing, tongue scraping additionally comes with certain dos and don’ts,” Dr Puneet explained.
*You need to clean your tongue with a clean tongue scraper.
*It is beneficial to do it two times a day, once in the morning after waking up and once at night before bed.
*Buy a good quality scraper having smooth edges.
*Use the tongue scraper lightly over your tongue. It should not hurt the tongue.
*You must not put much pressure while scraping your tongue. Doing so can harm your tongue’s sensitive surface and damage the taste buds.
*Do not continue scraping if you notice white patches or ulcers.
*Don’t use a toothbrush for tongue scraping.
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