You have probably been told to brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly and that is what most of us practice on a regular basis. Why would you clean your tongue? The tongue is actually one of the most neglected parts of hygiene among humans, especially because it is sitting in our mouth collecting bacteria, food debris and toxins all day long.
While brushing your teeth is essential to oral care, a clean mouth cannot be completed without a clean tongue. Unwanted bacteria and toxins that live on your tongue spread throughout your mouth over the course of the day. You really need to be cleaning your tongue separately, and one of the best ways to do this is with a tongue scraper.
“The tongue is technically the biggest single object in our mouths and it is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, especially the kind that causes bad breath,” says Marianna Weiner, D.D.S., a Brooklyn-based cosmetic dentist, who adds that cleaning your tongue also helps remove dead skin and debris that builds up. Removing these unwanted layers of gunk means that your tongue will actually look and feel healthier.
People regularly scrape their tongue to improve their breath, remove unwanted toxic layers, prevent cavities, feel holistically cleaner, improve the appearance of their tongue and much more.
After researching and testing, here are our favorite scrapers of 2021:
- This tongue scraper packs quite a punch and is made with 100% pure copper for anti-bacterial benefits, however one of the best perks is the ergonomic and sleek carrying case that it comes with. The case makes it easy to tuck away and also travel with. The tongue scraper and case all come for only $1.
- The long and slim U-shaped design allows the scraper to reach far back on the tongue, while the textured grips help to control motion throughout the process.
- At first glance, this tongue cleaner looks like quite the contraption. Made of a single, U-shaped piece of stainless steel, the cleaner is meant to be placed at the back of your tongue and then gently pulled forward. It’s this forward motion that scrapes the top layer of your tongue, removing dead cells and bacteria.
- It’s small, portable, and hygienic, and also features two soft-grip handles for ease-of-use. It’s relatively cost-effective being priced at $7 and it does what it advertises very well.
If you like the look and feel of a stainless steel tongue scraper but want to get more for your money, this option from Basic Concepts delivers on both fronts: it’s powerful, effective, and you actually get two of them for the cost of one high quality scraper, making it a budget-friendly pick.
Styled differently from Dr. Tung’s version, this cleaner features a small U-shape scraper at the end of a handle; it works more like a toothbrush, with a single-handed operation, to remove buildup on your tongue.
Can’t decide whether you would rather brush or scrape away all of the funk on your tongue? With this GUM 2-in-1 tool, you don’t have to. This double-sided cleaner does both: one side of the head features two rows of plastic ridges for scraping while the other side has two rows of bristles for brushing.
Made of plastic for steel-averse consumers, the tool has a narrow head—making it a breeze to comfortably reach those hard-to-reach places—and a soft-grip handle to make sure you’re in full control of the tool while you’re using it.
- If you’re looking for a scraper that works more like a toothbrush (but with a little extra cleaning power), the Orabrush tongue cleaner is the perfect compromise. It has micro-pointed bristles for deep cleaning, but you don’t “brush” your tongue with them: you scrape the bristles along the surface, essentially loosening and lifting up all the gunk, and let the scraper-styled edge of the tool finish the job.
- Experts don’t think that tongue scraping can permanently defeat bad breath, but it seems to work well as a short-term solution.1 The mashup of features here means you’re getting as much cleaning and bad breath-defeating power as possible. It’s also one of Dr. Weiner’s top picks thanks to this unique design.