The first time I ever engaged in tongue scraping pretty much sealed the deal, I knew there was no going back. I was going to do this every day for the rest of my life.
Now, if you don't know what tongue scraping is, or why you might be even remotely interested in it, let me ask you something. Would you be willing eat something for breakfast every day that you knew was loaded with bacteria? And I'm not talking about the beneficial, gut-friendly bacteria that you find in healthy fermented foods like yogurt. I'm talking about the kind of bacteria that smells bad, and makes you sick.
So, back to my question. Smelly bacteria for breakfast? Umm, not so appetizing? Actually, my answer to the question would have been something along the lines of, “oh gross, no way!”. If you too answered firmly in the negative, you might want to get into the habit of scraping your tongue.
Tongue scraping involves using a long, thin, flat piece of metal, which is bent in the shape of a ‘U', to scrape the surface of your tongue. It doesn't hurt at all. You scrape firmly, but gently by dragging the scraper from the back of your tongue to the front. The effect is similar to using a rake to scrape the cut grass off of a lawn. Only in the case of your tongue, what you scrape off is bacteria. Probably hundreds of thousands of them. So many in fact, that you can see them, even though you would need a microscope to see each individual bacteria.
You know how everyone has bad smelling ‘morning breath'? Well, it's mostly caused by these bacteria that are hanging out on your tongue. So when you use a tongue scraper (also called a tongue cleaner), you literally scrape the bacteria up and dispose of them by rinsing them down the sink. Because if you don't, guess what? They go right down the hatch with your morning coffee, or juice or whatever you have for breakfast. Yuck.
So isn't brushing your teeth in the mornings before you eat enough? No. It's great if you do that, because the bacteria are also on your teeth, so you are washing those bacteria away. But even if you brush your tongue with your toothbrush, it's hard to do as good a job as you can with a tongue scraper. Besides, if you see what's coming off your tongue every morning it provides really powerful incentive to do it again tomorrow morning.
So where do you get a tongue scraper? I got mine from a local health food shop. But I was lucky, because they are usually hard to find. The last one I had to get from a friend who was traveling back to China. I found some on Amazon, and here's a link to the one that looks the most like mine. The style I've got works really well, and I can't recommend any of the other styles simply because I've not tried them.
Tongue scrapers are really inexpensive, and the ones I've had have lasted for years. I got my first one over 20 years ago, and I'm now on my third. I hang mine in the holder right next to my toothbrush. I even bring it with me when I go backpacking.
If you think you might like to start the day with your tongue feeling fresh and clean instead of furry and stale, try a tongue scraper.