This is the first post in what will be an ongoing series, a series of things that really are freakin essentials, things you'll hands down benefit from, stuffs that will make things a little (or a lot) gentler, healthier, simpler. Some you'll know about, some you won't, some you'll already be using, some your eyes will bug out a little at as you go: really? But they'll all be useful, if of course, you use the dang things. . .
The first one is going to seem a bit wacky at first to those of you not familiar with them: tongue scrapers, also known as tongue brushes or cleaners. Their function? Literally scrape the funk off your tongue. Yep. De-furring.
If your diet is less than optimal, your tongue most likely has shag carpeting. If you're coming down with an illness, you've probably got a lawn growing in there. This is bacteria, and it needs to not be there. Of course, it shouldn't be there in the first place, but yeah, hello western diet, and all that.
The bacteria build up can wreak all sorts of havoc in your mouth, including making you sick, or making it harder to get well, or just giving you sulfurous breath that even your weasels know is demonic. So mowing your tongue is not just good for you, but for the planet!
They've been around for a long time. While scooting around the net looking for images, I even found a silver one from the 1800s. And I wonder why they went out of fashion. Our diets have certainly gotten worse. . .
They come in all sorts of configurations:
I use the one that looks like half of a golden arch (ironic, no?) because personally I'd rather use metal than plastic. And some folks just brush their tongue with their toothbrush, but it doesn't do a near good enough job. I use it once a day after I brush my teeth. If I'm sick, though, like with a cold or cough, I'll use it several times a day, and it really helps.
Here's a link to the wikipedia page in case you want more details and data and history.