How to Scrape Your Tongue


Have you ever noticed the white or yellow filmy coating on your tongue first thing in the morning? It’s yucky and bad for your health! You want to learn how to scrape it off!

This film is toxic waste matter, or āma, as it is known in Ayurveda. If left unattended, this decaying waste can cause bad breath and tooth-decay. It’s also a sign that your digestion isn’t functioning optimally.

A 2005 study found that using a tongue scraper twice a day for seven days reduced the overall incidence of Mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria types are known to cause bad breath and dental decay. 

If you want fresh breath, a healthy mouth and better digestion start scraping your tongue. Every. Morning.

It takes less than 2 minutes and provides big benefits!

How to Scrape Your Tongue

  1. Get a metal tongue scraper. They run about $12. Here’s a link to the one I use.
  2. Stand in front of your bathroom sink, open your mouth, and stick out your tongue.
  3. Gently yet firmly set the rounded end of the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue.
  4. Slowly pull it forward, toward the tip of your tongue. Don’t scrape too hard. Let the stuff you’re scraping off fall into your sink.
  5. After each scrape, use a washcloth or tissue to remove debris from the scraper, or rinse it with water.
  6. Repeat 7 times back to front.
  7. Wash the tongue scraper with warm water and soap, dry, and store in a clean, dry area.
anna holding a stainless steel tongue scraper over her tongue

Common Questions

Will I be able to scrape all of the white coating off of my tongue in one scraping?

The answer is no. You can eventually reduce the coating on your tongue through tongue scraping and diet and lifestyle changes that support your unique constitution and digestion. The purpose of tongue scraping is to gently remove the newly formed bacteria so it doesn’t continue to build up. Consistency over time is key for best results. One of my Ayurvedic teachers calls it ‘mowing your biofilm lawn.’

I brush my tongue every morning, isn’t that the same thing?

NO! When you brush your tongue you just mix all of that bacteria around on your tongue and mash it in deeper. You want it out of your mouth, not reabsorbed by your tongue.

What if it makes me gag?

If you’re worried about gagging, you may find it helpful to start at the middle of your tongue. You can gradually start from farther back as you get used to scraping.

Tongue scraping is one of the most important and transformational morning habits you can do. Once you try it you’ll find that the most compelling reason to continue doing it is the nasty white stuff you didn’t realize you were swallowing and keeping in your mouth all day long!

If you’d like help starting and sticking with a morning routine that sets you up for success every day, check out my one-on-one health coaching programs. Together we can design the perfect mind and body transformation plan to reset your heath and help you become the healthiest version of YOU!