Tongue scraping with a tongue cleaner was an essential dental or oral hygiene practice in ancient Ayurveda. Although long dismissed as part of traditional folklore, the practice is now increasingly recognized for proven therapeutic benefits. Described as the self-care ritual, Jihwa Prakshalana in Ayurveda, tongue scraping can be performed using a variety of tongue scrapers made from different materials including plastic, stainless steel or copper. The choice of material does make a difference and Ayurveda has a clear preference for copper tongue cleaners. Let’s find out why.
Benefits of Copper Tongue Cleaners
While the practice of tongue cleaning or Jihwa Prakshalana is beneficial no matter the type of device that you use, copper is regarded as highly preferable to all other materials. Like most Ayurvedic traditions, this is based on sound science and here are the notable benefits:
- Copper is more resilient and hardy, giving copper tongue scrapers a longer shelf life. In fact, such tongue scrapers are likely to last for several years or longer if they are well cared for.
- Most importantly, copper is renowned for its antibacterial effects with studies showing that copper even exerts antibacterial effects against bacteria such as enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, enteropathogenic E. coli, Vibrio cholerae O1, Salmonella enterica Typhi and Shigella flexneri 2a, among others.
- Copper is also known to be an essential trace mineral that is required for human health and helps balance all three Doshas.
- Most importantly, as copper is hostile to most microbial organisms, there is a much lower risk of contamination and infections that can develop when using dental devices from other materials.
Importance and Health Benefits of Using Copper Tongue Cleaner
Copper tongue cleaner benefits are not very different from those that can be obtained from using any other tongue cleaner, however, they are unique for the reasons listed above. Other important benefits of using a copper tongue cleaner include:
- Enhanced Taste: Some research shows that the regular practice of tongue scraping may improve taste sensitivity, allowing you to better recognize and enjoy a wider variety of tastes.
- Cures Halitosis: Halitosis or bad breath is a common problem that can affect your self-esteem and make it awkward to interact with other individuals. Using a tongue scraper regularly has been shown to be effective at curing this as it removes volatile sulphur compounds responsible for the odour.
- Reduced Oral Bacteria: Simply brushing your teeth daily is known to be inadequate at getting rid of oral bacteria, which also accumulates on the surface of the tongue. This increases the risk of gum infections and plaque formation. Research shows that using a tongue scraper daily for at least two weeks can reduce such bacterial proliferation.
- Cleaner Tongue: With regular use of a copper tongue scraper you will quickly notice a reduction in the whiteish or greyish coating that develops over the tongue. This is also because of a reduction in bacterial growth and food residue on the tongue surface.
While it isn’t absolutely necessary for you to use a copper tongue scraper over less expensive varieties, it is preferable to make this shift because of the amazing benefits of copper tongue cleaners that make them more effective than other types of tongue cleaners.