Your Top Tongue Cleaning Questions Answered! [video]
Welcome to our AskBanyan series, where we answer the most popular questions about living an Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Ayurveda teaches that cleaning the tongue every day is not only an integral part of maintaining oral hygiene, but that the practice also has deeper benefits thanks to the tongue’s direct link with various internal organs in the human body.
But do we really need to use one of those metal tongue scrapers on our tongues? Can’t we just use a toothbrush, floss, or a spoon to get the job done?
Do I Need to Use a Metal Tongue Scraper to Clean My Tongue?
You can use other things to clean your tongue. However, a tongue cleaner has been designed for this purpose exactly. More specifically, it was designed to apply consistent, gentle pressure—and to get into the folds and grooves of the tongue.
There’s a study that supports this—it compared a tongue cleaner to a regular toothbrush, and it found that using a tongue scraper actually decreased volatile sulfur compounds (what’s responsible for making your breath stink) by 75 percent, compared to 45 percent with a toothbrush.1
All in all, a tongue cleaner is super easy to use and (when used properly) gets the job done quickly and painlessly.
Why Does Using a Tongue Scraper Hurt My Tongue?
If you’re experiencing any pain when scraping your tongue, it’s possible that you’re using too much pressure.
Have you ever grazed your hand over a body of water? Imagine slowly skimming your hand across the water in the bath—just enough to catch a small amount in your hand. That’s the pressure you’re going for.
If your tongue is dry, it may feel a little rough. However, the goal is to gently remove the coating of ama (natural toxins) that can build on your tongue.
If your tongue remains very sensitive, or if you are experiencing pain, it might be time to consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner or your doctor.
To learn more about Ayurveda’s perspective on oral health, check out Banyan’s oral healthcare guide.
Do you have a question for us? Feel free to Ask Banyan! You can do this below in the comments or use the #AskBanyan tag on social media.