A tongue is clean if it is a rosy pink color. A white film on the top of the tongue means there are millions of bacteria living there and excreting. Yep, that’s what I said, excreting. Yuck. By using a tongue scraper those nasty waste products are removed from the surface of the tongue. As a result the person has better function of of taste buds, fresher breath, and a cleaner environment for good dental hygiene. After brushing and flossing the bacteria on the tongue can travel over to the teeth and re-infect the gums if the tongue is not cleaned.
The Fresh Breath Clinic in Toronto did a study and found that most people with bad breath do not necessarily have gum disease. Instead, they found that there was bacteria living at the back of the tongue that produced smelly sulphur. Ordinary tooth bushing does not remove this bacteria, only brushing or scraping the tongue removes those nasty bugs. A drawback to brushing your tongue is that when you are done your moist toothbrush may continue to hold the bacteria, ready to infest your mouth the next time you brush. Unless you are willing to throw out your toothbrush on a continuous basis you might want to learn how to use a "tongue scraper".
Yogis have been scraping their tongues clean for hundreds of years and believe that tongue cleaning activates the salivary glands which aids digestion and revitalizes the throat.
When you have any kind of sinus infections it is even more beneficial to clean the tong. If your nose is blocked by mucous, preventing the passage of air so you need to breathe out your mouth, the bacteria thrive. By regularly scraping the tongue with a tongue cleaner the excess mucous and any minor infection is removed.
To use a tongue scraper stick out your tongue. Take the two ends of the tongue scraper in your hand, and reach the arch of it to the back of the tongue. Gently, scrape forward several times, rinsing the white mucous off the scraper between scrapings. Remember to do this gently or you will find you have a bruised tongue for days. Rinse out the mouth once you are done. Now your mouth should feel clean and your tongue should be rosy pink.
You can buy tongue scrapers at the drug store. A good one is called Oolit. Or you can stop by our office for a complimentary tongue scraper to help you on your way to a nice clean tongue!