Tongue scraping: a crazy fad or a must for oral hygiene?

And no, using a toothbrush to do the job won’t cut it.

You might consider a ‘tongue scraper’ to be top of the list entitled ‘crazy ridiculous fads’ but after research, they’re becoming more and more common every day.

If you haven’t heard of a tongue scraper by now, you’re probably thinking what is it? Well, put simply, a tongue scraper is an implement that gets to the back of your tongue to remove the white furry stuff that builds up overnight. Gross, yes, but that’s exactly why we should get rid of it.

While we may think of it as some whacky contraption, author and Ayurvedic fan Jasmine Hemsley, says that tongue scraping has always been a hugely important part of Eastern wellbeing.

“In traditional Chinese medicine, your tongue is a map of your health. It’s a practice that’s so normal in India that mothers tell their children to scrape their tongues over brushing their teeth” she says.

“Overnight, your body gets rid of toxins and if you look at your tongue, you’ll see this white or sometimes yellow furry build-up. If you don’t get rid of it, then you’ll absorb the toxins back into your body. However, in Eastern countries, they’ll instead use a tongue scraper to remove it.”

Safe to say, this item sounds far more useful than we may have initially thought as the tongue scraping method is far better for our oral hygiene than bacteria-blitzing mouthwashes.

Co-founder of wellbeing website Shabir Daya MPharmS, says that getting rid of this bacteria is a no-brainer and is encouraging others to do the same.

“We have a combination of bacteria in the mouth. Anaerobic bacteria can sit at the back of the tongue where the fissures are deeper – they sit and eat away at food which also releases gases. This explains morning breath which can be worse depending on your health, party habits and diet. Therefore, it makes total sense to get rid of it” she says.

If you’re officially converted and want to give a scraper a go, with so many scrapers popping up on the market it can be hard to choose which one to purchase. Notably, the best are copper ones as they have antibacterial qualities, so ideally that’s a great place to start.

This article originally appeared on Grazia UK.

Words: Susannah Taylor
Photos: Getty Images, Instagram