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Tongue cleaning. Useful or not?

from Catherine Rossi, Holistic dentist, Paris


Tongue cleaning is a hygiene measure that complements tooth brushing. For classical dentistry, its purpose is to obtain and maintain a healthy and clean lingual surface. For holistic dentistry and Ayurvedic medicine, it is also a detoxification tool. The tongue is a complex organ made up of 17 muscles. Its top side (called the back of the tongue) has a multitude of small papillae that gives it a slightly raspy appearance. This side is regularly cleaned throughout the day when we speak, eat and swallow, thanks to its rubbing against the teeth and the palate.

Brushing the tongue: why?


Brushing the tongue is recommended when natural cleaning is insufficient. This is mainly the case for people who speak little, drink insufficient water or eat only liquids. Apart from these situations, which are frequent in sick people, brushing (with a toothbrush) or scraping (with a tongue scraper) has detoxifying virtues. Indeed, oriental medicines (Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine) read on the tongue the good health of the body organs. They recommend the use of the copper tongue scraper for its antiseptic action and its vibratory capacity when scraping. Thus, in addition to the mechanical action, the tongue scraper generates a wave that stimulates the reflexogenic zone of the organ which thus sees its metabolism stimulated.


Brushing the tongue: how?


The brushing of the tongue is done before the dental brushing, preferably in the morning, because the tongue has accumulated toxins during the night. A toothbrush should be used if the objective is only hygienic. If you want to approach the notion of detox, you should use a copper tongue scraper.

The tongue scraper is used from the back to the front, going as far back as possible without causing a nauseous reflex.

The toothbrush is used both from the back to the front, but also diagonally. Rinse the toothbrush several times with clean water while brushing.

In both cases, act gently so as not to cause irritation and damage to the top of the tongue.


Here are 2 videos that may help you:




Optimize the health of your tongue

Drinking a lot of water (1.5l/day), contributes to oral health and hygiene.

Avoid daily mouthwashes, even those with essential oils. These products have a therapeutic action (inflammation, infection) and must be stopped as soon as the symptoms have disappeared, at the risk of completely destabilizing the oral flora and losing the natural defense capacities.

Tobacco and alcohol destroy the papillae of the tongue, modify the perception of tastes and take away the flavor of life.


The importance of the tongue

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the tongue is made up of 17 muscles, which means that it has strength, and it is capable of moving teeth if it pushes on the dental arches instead of pushing on the palate with each swallow (i.e. 2800 times a day). Moreover, the pressure on the palate participates in its self-cleaning and in the self-stimulation of the organs. Physiological swallowing rehabilitation has several major advantages:


  • Growth of the maxillae in children
  • Stability of the teeth position in children and adults
  • Health of the tongue mucosa
  • Improvement of cervical tensions (there are ligaments between the tongue and the cervicals)
  • Connection between the Yin energies (thoughts) of the maxilla (governor meridian) and the Yang energies (creations) of the mandible (conception meridian).


Brushing the tongue: when to stop?

As soon as you feel comfortable again.

But you have understood that a little bit every day will go far beyond hygiene!


PS: the tongue, like the gums, loves virgin and organic coconut oil in oil pulling, all year round. A teaspoon of coconut oil to emulsify in the mouth for 10 minutes, every night at bedtime, spit and do not rinse.


This article in french