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Our best tongue scraper choices.
Did you know that over 80% of bad breath originates from the bacteria that live in the nooks and crannies of your tongue? Scraping your tongue is just as essential as brushing your teeth if you want to maintain fresh breath and great oral health.
Five Of The Best
5 Of The Best Tongue Scrapers
We picked out 5 of the best-selling options to compare them on effectiveness, comfort, quality, and cost. A good tongue cleaner should be able to loosen and remove as much of the debris off the surface of the tongue without causing excessive gagging or discomfort. Check out the videos below to see all 5 in action.
Best T-Shaped Tongue Scraper
Wondrous is the new kid on the tongue scraping block. They have come to market with a colorful product and marketing strategy designed to inspire people to add tongue cleaning to their daily routine. Another key selling point of this cleaner is Wondrous’s commitment to developing socially and environmentally friendly products. Wondrous manufacture the Clean Tongue Wand in the U.S.A from the safest of materials and it is 100% recyclable, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.
Verdict – There are selling points that make the Wondrous Clean Tongue Wand a great buy. Firstly, it has a smaller head size compared to many tongue scrapers. The small head minimizes the gag reflex and allows it to be placed further towards the back of the tongue. Secondly, the Wondrous scraper features a row of micro-grooves that can slide through the cracks in the tongue surface and disrupt and remove the food debris and bacteria. Thirdly, Wondrous have made sure their tongue cleaner is free from potentially toxic chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, and bisphenol A (BPA). This will please people who prefer that the products they buy have “clean” ingredients.
Mouth hygiene, in general, is now just as important as tooth hygiene, and so the tongue cleaner is a great tool that is easy to use, light enough to pack when traveling and is an excellent addition to your oral care routine. The Wondrous tongue scraper is very quick to use, and so it can easily be added to any morning routine, and as it is also environmentally friendly, as well as being vegan and cruelty-free, it is a total winner.Emma Iannarilli
I have tried a few tongue cleaners before, but I have never liked the sensation of putting the scraper to the back of my tongue. The Wondrous scraper has a small head, and I find it much more comfortable to use. I can use it without causing myself to gag at all. I also like the little travel case it comes with because it makes it easy to store and keep the bathroom tidy.
I would recommend this to anyone. xJane Mabbitt
Best Dual Action Tongue Scraper.
The Orabrush is probably the most famous and recognizable of all tongue cleaners. Thanks to a viral YouTube video, millions of people became acquainted with the health benefits of tongue cleaning and the Orabrush became an overnight sensation. This scraper has a dual action cleaning mechanism that uses both brush bristles and a scraper blade.
Verdict – When Dr. Robert Wagstaff developed and designed the Orabrush, he recognized the need for a tongue cleaning utensil that could disrupt the tongue coating as well as collecting and removing it from the mouth. The Orabrush has a head full of micro-pointed bristles that scrape into the tongue tissue to loosen the debris. After the brush head has done its work, the tongue coating is collected by a scraper lip and removed from the mouth.
This tongue cleaner is an excellent choice for people who have a heavy coating on their tongue. The tongue is very tricky to clean, and the micro bristles certainly help to loosen the debris and bacteria for the scraper to remove. For people who do have a thick coating on their tongue a dual action scraper like the Orabrush is the best choice.
This tongue scraper does the job nicely. I think my tongue does look a bit healthier now that I scrape it clean regularly. I did find it a little bit uncomfortable to start with, but I have gotten used to it.Jone Doe
According to the scientists, bad breath often comes from your tongue, so you need to clean it regularly if you want fresh breath. This Orabrush is easy to use, and you can certainly see that it does remove the coating from your tongue. The Orabrush is a good purchase.David Smith
This tongue cleaner is gentle to use, but it does scrape the gunk off of your tongue. My tongue used to have a yellowish coating on it, but now it is a healthy pink color.
The Orabrush was quite cheap to buy, and I think it is a good value purchase.
Best U-Shaped Tongue Scraper
The Dr. Tung Tongue scraper is a U-shaped scraper that features a stainless steel cleaning blade and comfort grip handles. The contoured knife blade is designed to remove the residual coating of the tongue as efficiently as possible. The scraper is available in a selection of colors and comes with a bamboo fiber travel pouch.
Dr. Tung Demonstration
Verdict – The Dr. Tung tongue scraper is a popular choice for many consumers. This two handled scraper makes it easy to apply even pressure across the tongue surface to remove the maximum amount of coating. The blade of this scraper feels sharp, so it is advisable to be gentle to start with until you get used to it. The Dr. Tung scraper is an excellent choice for people who have a low gag reflex and tongues aren’t overly sensitive.
This tongue scraper is actually quite sharp so you need to be quite careful not to press too hard. It is clearly effective at removing the coating from your tongue because you can see all the residual slime on the blade. Good buy.Ross James
I used to use my toothbrush the give my tongue a clean but this product is much superior. You can clearly see all the nasty slime collected on the scraper after you have finished. I keep it nice and clean by dipping it in a cup of boiling water. Great product!Heather D
I bought this tongue scraper because it seems to be one of the most popular models on Amazon. I am not disappointed with the purchase as it is well made and does what it does very well. Apparently, the most likely cause of bad breath is the coating on your tongue and this device is clearly effective at removing that coating. Using the Dr Tung scraper every day gives me more confidence in the freshness of my breath.Suzi James
The Amano tongue cleanser is one of the most substantial and stylishly designed tongue cleaners. The U shaped cleaning blade is forged from high-grade chromium and nickel alloy making this a durable tongue cleaning device that will last for years. The cleaning blade is ergonomically designed to minimize the gag reflex as the user moves it towards the back of the tongue.
Verdict – The Amano Tongue Cleanser is by far the most aesthetically pleasing of all the tongue scrapers available. Undoubtedly the Italian craftsmanship is to thank for the range of colorful and artistic designs available. The storage case that comes with the cleaner is a welcome extra that will keep the tongue scraper free from the types of bacteria that usually populate bathroom spaces. According to Amano, the scraper blade is precision designed to stop you gagging as you slide it to the back of the tongue. Although it didn’t prevent the gag reflex completely when I tested it, it did minimize it to an acceptable level, and I found it reasonably pleasant to use. The two handles make it very easy to coordinate and apply the most comfortable pressure as it slides over the tongue surface. Perhaps, the metal scraper touching one’s tongue is not to everyone’s’ taste, but it is straightforward to use and clean, will last a long time, and, most importantly, it is also very effective.
An easy and effective way to clean your tongue. This is a well-made cleaner that looks like it will last a long time. I would recommend this for anyone wanting to improve their oral healthSuzanne brown
The Amano tongue scraper is a high-quality tongue cleaner. It costs a little bit more than other tongue scrapers, but this one will last forever. To sterilize it, I pop it in boiling water or the dishwasher. I would be happy to recommend it!Lucy Craig
I was skeptical about the benefits of this tongue scraper, but I think it has improved my sense of taste and my tongue looks a lot healthier. I love how fresh my mouth feels after I have brushed, flossed and scraped my tongue. I would recommend this as part of your daily routine.Lorna J
Best Tongue Brush
The Tung brush is designed to be used together with the Tung gel to give your tongue a complete clean. The gel is specially formulated for deep cleaning and neutralizing bad breath odor. The Tung cleaning system is popular with many people because the combination of the circular brush and the minty flavored gel give a pleasurable experience compared to other scrapers and cleaners.
Tung Brush Demonstration
Verdict – The Tung brush and gel kit is an excellent system for people who want a comfortable cleaning experience that leaves a definite fresh feeling in the mouth. There is some research to suggest that the combination of a tongue cleaner and some form of antibacterial gel or lotion is slightly more effective at removing the smelly sulfur compounds than scraping with a dry tongue cleaner. For this reason and just the pure pleasure of using the Tung brush and gel kit, we voted it the best tongue cleaning brush.
The Tung brush and gel kit is excellent value for money. Cleaning your tongue with this is quite pleasant, and it does get rid of the white film on your tongue.
Using the gel on the brush makes my mouth feel cleaner once I have finished. I do feel more confident that my mouth is super clean now that I use this brush. The Tung Brush kit is a great buy!Carly freeman
Brushing my tongue with the Tung brush and gel before bed has stopped me getting that bad taste in my mouth in the morning. I have more confidence that my breath is fresher when I use this.Sara lee Smith
This brush did a great job of cleaning my tongue. Using the gel at the same time makes my mouth feel clean and fresh. The only downside to this product is that the bristles are quite hard and it can leave your tongue feeling a bit tender.Dave Smith
Types of tongue scrapers
There are many different styles of tongue scraper available. We have highlighted the most commonly used options below.
Electric Toothbrush Attachment
Tongue cleaning with an electric toothbrush
An easy way to add tongue cleaning to your daily oral health routine is to use a tongue cleaner attachment for your toothbrush.
If you already own a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush, you can buy a little attachment kit that fits onto the handle to give your tongue an amazing clean with minimal effort.
Tongue Cleaning benefits
The cracks and crevices of the tongue surface are the perfect breeding ground for large colonies of bacteria. If you leave this film of bacteria to accumulate it can affect both you’re oral and general health. By regularly scraping your tongue clean, you can achieve real health benefits.
PREVENTS BAD BREATH
Researchers have shown us that over 80% of halitosis (bad breath) comes from a build-up of bacteria, food debris, and dead cells on the tongue. If we remove this coating, we can instantly freshen our breath.
REDUCES THE RISK OF CAVITIES AND GUM DISEASE.
Keeping bacteria in check with a regular cleaning routine goes a long way towards avoiding tooth decay and gum disease.
IMPROVES TONGUE APPEARANCE.
Regular tongue cleanings can return the tongue to a healthy pink color.
REDUCES THE DENSITY OF BACTERIA ON THE TONGUE.
The less harmful bacteria you have in your system, the better. Large colonies of harmful bacteria can increase the chance of tooth decay and gum disease. It is also now known that oral bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and affect major organs and body function.
Regular tongue cleaning can help to improve and enhance your sense of taste.
Best places to buy tongue scrapers.
Tongue scrapers and cleaners are available at good supermarkets, high street pharmacists and online retail outlets like Amazon.
Ask The Dentist
Tongue cleaning is not a new practice. Historical research has shown that this habit has been present for centuries in Europe, Asia, Arabia, and pretty much everywhere except for western civilizations. Throughout history, people have used tongue scrapers made of wood, mother of pearl, copper or even gold.
One key focus point to consider when it comes to tongue scraping is the relationship between tongue cleaning and bad breath, also known as Halitosis. Halitosis is a condition that affects a significant number of people, and while most of them carry out oral hygiene measures to the best of their ability, they still suffer bad breath, and that is why numerous researchers have placed the matter under the microscope, in order to find a reason and hopefully a cure for this embarrassing condition.
ASCRO published a study of particular interest since it talks about the tongue from a morphological view. They made impressions of the tongue surface and studied these under the microscope. The study showed the intricate nature of the tongue surface, including the papillae (these are micro-organs responsible for sensation and taste), and these papillae are shaped like a cup with a lid on it, with only a small slit around that lid. This structure means that when debris and biofilm become trapped inside the papillae, the bacteria can begin to cause bad breath and infections.
Another point to consider about tongue hygiene is the direct relationship between oral health and the general health. Several studies have directly linked oral hygiene to eye infections, joint diseases, heart conditions and even premature labor.
In conclusion, there is irrefutable evidence linking tongue cleanliness with bad breath and other systemic diseases. I wholeheartedly recommend that you add tongue cleaning to your daily routine. I guarantee once you take a look at the amount of debris collected on the scraper you won’t look back.
Mohamed Tarek Galal Abdel Hamid
BDS, MFDS RCSEd, Member of AACD
Dr. Mohamed Tarek Galal Abdel Hamid is a practicing dentist, the founder and owner of Confidental.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions on buying, using and cleaning tongue scrapers and brushes.
Can I use a toothbrush to clean my tongue?
Generally speaking, the bristles on a regular toothbrush are too soft to mechanically remove the layer of debris and bacteria from the tongue surface. Toothbrushes are designed to clean the smooth surfaces of enamel rather than the soft tissue of the tongue. Also, a toothbrush is more likely to induce your natural gag reflex. Using a dedicated tongue cleaner is usually a better option because they are ergonomically designed to remove the maximum amount of film without causing discomfort.
How long do tongue scrapers last?
The recommended lifespan of a tongue scraper depends on the brand. If you own a Plastic model like the Orabrush or Tung brush, you should replace it every three months. Metal bladed scrapers like the Amano tongue cleanser will last for many years.
Why not just use mouthwash instead of tongue cleaning to get rid of bad breath?
Mouthwashes can be useful as a quick fix in an emergency because they can undoubtedly neutralize foul-smelling odor, but unfortunately, they are usually just masking the problem rather than curing it. By using a tongue scraper, you can safely remove the root cause of bad breath by scraping away the layer of bacteria and food debris from the tongue surface.
How do I clean a tongue scraper?
After using a tongue cleaning device, rinse it under the tap and allow to air dry. To sanitize the scraper you can dip it in an antibacterial mouthwash. Also, you can usually clean tongue scrapers in your dishwasher.
If 80% of bad breath comes from the tongue, do we need to brush our teeth?
Yes! Tongue cleaning should be part of your daily oral health routine, but it does not replace the need to brush your teeth. It is vital to remove bacterial plaque from your teeth every day to avoid cavities and gum disease. It is recommended to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day.
What should I do if cleaning my tongue makes me gag?
It is entirely normal for the back of your throat to spasm when you place something like a tongue cleaner towards the rear of the mouth. Having said that, if you use a specially designed scraper you should be able to clean your tongue without too much discomfort. If you are having difficulty with gagging, try slowing moving the cleaner to the rear of the mouth and then scraping with forwarding motions only.
Is tongue scraping painful?
Cleaning your tongue should not be painful, if you feel tenderness afterward, you may be applying too much pressure with your cleaning device. Try using gentler cleaning motions and only clean your tongue every second or third day until you get used to the process. If you continue to experience pain and sensitivity, it is best to discontinue using a tongue scraper and seek advice from your dentist.
Int J Dent Hygiene 8, 2010; 258–268
Van der Sleen MI, Slot DE, Van Trijffel E, Winkel EG, Van der Weijden GA. The effect of mechanical tongue cleaning on breath odor and tongue coating: a systematic review.
Tongue scraping for treating halitosis Review
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews – Tongue scraping for treating halitosis Review
Authors – Trent L Outhouse, Rashad Al‐Alawi, Zbys Fedorowicz, James V Keenan
Clinical efficacy of a new tooth and tongue gel applied with a tongue cleaner in reducing oral halitosis.
Wilhelm D1, Himmelmann A, Axmann EM, Wilhelm KP.
proDERM Institute for Applied Dermatological Research, Schenefeld, Germany.
Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry, Oral Pathology and Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. [email protected]