Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I see that those funny dentist people are pushing a new fad - not only are they stocking their own shelves with tongue-scrapers at ten quid a dozen, but they've persuaded those funny toothbrush-makers to include them (tongue-scrapers) in this new design.
yeah, right.
in any local museum you can always find the occasional corroded bronze item from some Roman or Anglo-Saxon dig stuck away in the corner of some remote display cabinet that gets labelled either 'ritual implement' or 'ear-wax remover' or 'tongue-scraper' whenever the archaeologist has run out of ideas - which sums up the value of the 'tongue-scraper'.
who are these people trying to kid?
just who do they think we are?
we've landed robots on Mars.
we've completed the human genome project.
we've resolved Fermat's last theorem.
and these 'dentists' are seriously trying to tell us that, so long as we use a fuggin tongue-scraper as part of our dental hygiene routine, we'll keep our teeth healthy and doozy and our breath smelling as sweet as a Swiss meadow.
because, according to them, we've scraped away all those evil bacteria, of course, those tiny little buggers (they like to call them 'germs') that hang about between our teeth and on our tongues and cause tooth decay and halitosis.
here is the news: the human body is a zoo. we're host to so many of these tiny little buggers you wouldn't believe. magnify your tongue to only x100 or so and you'll see a fraction of 'em - perfectly benign little buggers that have, over the years, developed a special relationship with the enzymes in your saliva that trades off their assistance in digesting various tricky (ie chemically complex) sugars for a morsel or two of nourishment for themselves. we're not designed to process sugars in quite the quantity we've come to ingest them in the past few years, though (one diet coke = a Neanderthal's lifetime consumption of honey), so they get a bit overwhelmed, and occasionally mutate into a less benign form of little bugger whose waste products tend to the acidic, and those acids, in sufficient quantity, then start attacking both the enamel at the base of your teeth and the benign bacteria as well, which in turn produces sulphides and proteins which interact and produce a cocktail of malodorous gases which - well, you get the picture.
here is more news: you can't scrape away bad breath from your tongue as if it were a layer of paint.
think about it (ie do what neither the dentists nor the toothpaste industry nor the confectionery industry nor the processed food industries want you to do): bacteria are seriously small. the scale of these little buggers is such that the chance of a fuggin tongue-scraper coming anywhere remotely near dislodging them from the crevices in your tongue is zilch, zero, as totally not possible as hoping for a rolling-pin dragged across a deep-pile carpet to dredge up a grain of rice. so what do they do? well - what do any of these things do? - they make it seem better. purely cosmetic. totally illusory. tongue yellow and furry? drag a tongue-scraper across it! chances are it'll scrape up a slurry of gunk that looks icky, and that, after you've spat it out, your tongue'll look and taste different - especially if you combine that 'treatment' with a mouthwash soused with chlorides to decimate everything that's living in there (which will then take all of a couple of days to replace, during which time you'll be totally defenceless against - you guessed it - all those sugars which started the problem in the first place). whoa! the miracle of twenty-first century dentistry.
the only miracle is how gullible we are when these jumped-up fairground entertainers in white face-masks tell us that we'd better do as we're told or else.
they'll be trying to persuade us fluoride is good for us next.

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