Everything You Need to Know About Tongue Scrapers

At Made by Yoke, we’re always looking for beautifully made, high quality tools that improve our lives. In our experience, it’s usually the simplest tools which have the biggest impacts. That’s certainly the case with our newest obsession, a simple, but innovative design for improved oral health. Introducing the tongue cleaner, also known as a tongue scraper. This ancient Ayurvedic tool literally scraping the white matter (food debris, bacteria, dead skin cells…you get the idea) from the tongue; you’ll immediately feel the results with fresher breath, improved taste, and less disruption in the body.

While the practice isn’t new, it’s recently picked up steam in the holistic health world with celebrity endorsements and prominent placement in wellness shops.

If you are curious about using a tongue cleaner, here are a few things to know:

What are the benefits or uses of tongue cleaning?

Tongue cleaning is a proven way to eliminate toxins and odor-causing bacteria, reduce ama, and maintain a strong immunity.

Is tongue cleaning necessary?

We all know the basic tenants of oral hygiene—brush and floss—but those steps can only take you so far. If you want a truly holistic approach to dental care, you should add in a tongue cleaning tool. Otherwise, there’s a plethora of bacteria that may be missed in your traditional practices.

How do I use a tongue cleaner?

This practice couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how to use a tongue cleaner in five easy steps:

  • Stick your tongue out just like you would at the dentist. (The “ahhh” noise is optional!)
  • Apply the scraper as far back on your tongue as you can without triggering your gag reflex.
  • Pushing down just enough for the scraper to apply light pressure, draw it forwards towards the tip of your tongue.
  • Flick off or let drip the residue that has gathered in your tongue and the scraper.
  • Repeat several times until your tongue has been fully scraped.

You’ll see immediate results, so make sure you continually clean your tools (more on that below).

Are tongue cleaners a new trend?

Tongue cleaning has been a practice of the Ayurvedic lifestyle for centuries as a way to reduce ama. In Ayurveda, ama is considered the underlining cause of many health issues. Teachings break ama down into three categories: - Heavy and sticky: formed from poor dietary habits and low digestive fire (source).

- Amavisha: a more toxic form of ama that mixes with waste (or dosha) for chronic illness (source). - Garvisha: ama that results from environmental toxins (source).

Ayurvedic practitioners use tongue cleaners to remove the heavy and sticky ama and prevent amavisha. Unlike trends (which come and go), this practice has proven to be beneficial as evidenced by the support of holistic and naturopathic doctors.

What is the difference between a tongue scraper, a tongue cleaner, and a tongue brush?

Tongue scrapers’ get their name from the technique used to clean the tongue: you place the scraper in the back of the throat and gently pull down the tongue to scrape. Other names, like tongue cleaners and/or tongue brushes, are simply variations.

Should I use a copper or stainless steel?

Choosing between a copper tongue cleaner vs. steel tongue cleaner is generally dependent on your budget and personal preference. Stainless steel cleaners are less expensive, but they are not naturally anti-bacterial. (Copper is the only inherently anti-bacterial metal).

How do you care for a tongue cleaner?

For pure copper tongue cleaners, rinse the cleaner with warm water. Then mix a solution of equal parts baking soda and lemon in a shallow bowl. When the solution stops fizzing, rub the paste into the copper cleaner using a cloth. After twenty minutes, rinse the tongue cleaner under hot water, pat dry with a clean towel, and store in a dry location. Don’t forget to wash after every use!

What’s the best tongue cleaner?

We might be just a littttle bias, but our Made by Yoke copper tongue cleaners (and stainless steel) are exceptionally well made and can stand daily use. Did we mention how chic they look in a medicine cabinet?

So, there you have it—everything you need to know about tongue cleaners. Check out some of our other blogs on tongue cleaners here: Copper vs. Steel Tongue Cleaners and The Real Story Behind Tongue Cleaning and Oral Health. Of course, if you have more questions feel free to send us a message on Instagram. We’re here to support you on every step of your wellness journey.