Updated: Apr 25, 2020
We all know that brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings are important for our overall wellbeing. But following are two other ancient oral cleansing practices from the Ayurveda area which I want to introduce you.
The following practice I do every day, same like teeth brushing. Tongue scraping in Sanskrit 'jihwa prakshalana' is one of my 'non-negotiables' ayurvedic 'dinacharya' aka morning routines. I scrap my tongue every single morning before brushing my teeth.
Tongue scraping is an ayurvedic routine that is so simple thus it comes with great health benefits. In Ayurveda, the accumulation of toxins in the body is called 'ama'. The toxins build up as a result of improper eating habits, poor digestion, and/or a reflection of an imbalance in the gastrointestinal system.
When these toxins are not properly eliminated, they stagnate on the surface of our tongue (one of the easiest places in the body for germs to brew) and can begin to compromise our health.
Signs of improper eliminations include a coating on the tongue, foul-smelling breath or body odor, mental fog or confusion, weakness, body aches, diminished appetite, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, lethargy, and overall heaviness—physically, mentally, and spiritually.
So the fastest and easiest way to avoid all these unpleasant effects is to scrap your tongue with a tongue scraper just a few times before brushing your teeth. There are tongue scrapers available of plastic, metal and copper. Forget the plastic ones. I got my metal tongue scraper at Suananda Vegetarian Garden & Ayurveda, Bangkok.
Another ayurvedic oral care practice is 'oil pulling'. I don't do oil pulling every day, like tongue scrapping, but twice a week. Oil pulling, is known as “kavala graha” or “gandusha” in Sanskrit.
The idea of oil pulling is to swish (not swallow) oil in your mouth. The oil around the mouth helps loosen the body’s overnight bacteria out from the teeth and gums, resulting in brighter teeth, stronger gums, fresher breath and a cleaner smile. It works like the industrial and artificial mouth wash just better.
(If oil pulling is not your thing, you can better than using the industrial mouth wash a DIY mouthwash, a recipe my husband is using as well. You can find the intructions to do it here.)
It doesn't leave you with this unnatural, sometimes strong smell and 'burning' sensation in the mouth like the industrial produced mouthwash. The coconut oil gives a natural, smooth and really nice clean feeling in the mouth.
Do it for 5 minutes, try swishing in the shower, while you make your tea or while you make your bed. Use high quality cold-pressed organic coconut oil or sesame oil.
When you’re done, spit the oil into some toilet paper and throw it into the bin to avoid a clogged sink. The actual correct cleansing order of the daily oral care would be:
1️) oil pulling,
2️) tongue scraping,
4️) and then brushing your teeth.
I guarantee you, your dentist will be impressed. 😉