Simply using a quality tongue scraper every day can have a huge impact on your breath. Having bad breath can be a determining factor in landing a job, scoring a hot date, or simply altering the way that people perceive you. If you think back on your life, I am sure there is someone that always stuck out as having such bad breath that could nearly knock over a horse in its tracks.
For me personally its been a few co-workers and my 3th grade teacher (sorry Mrs. McCormack!). Of all their traits, bad breath was just something that would always stick with me now and forever.
In the effort of always bettering yourself, bad breath (or oftentimes technically referred to as halitosis) is just one of those things that can for the most part be drastically reduced when you have the right repertoire of dental tools.
From your classic antiseptic mouthwash (such as Listernine), or one of the best water flossers that we recently reviewed, or just adamantly brushing your teeth at least twice a day – all the above can have a direct impact on your oral health and hygiene. Also using a toothpaste specifically designed for bad breath can help fight halitosis as well.
But one often overlooked product that can really move the needle on reducing the stench of a smelly breath is going to be a tongue scraper.
Tongue scrapers have been around for years, however, is the secret weapon for both men and women everywhere with fresh breath.
To understand the benefits of tongue scrapers and how they cure bad breath – its important to know why your breath is likely stinking in the first place:
While we outlined many of the reasons for bad breath in this recent post, by and far the direct cause of bad breath has to do with your diet.
If you are like me and slip up and don’t eat the healthiest day after day, chances are there is going to be a processed food, meat, sugary substance, coffee, etc that will make its way into your mouth.
Here’s the deal:
Once you consume that food – unless you floss or brush immediately thereafter, the tiny remnants that are caked on to your tongue or are stuck between your teeth are going to begin to naturally decay.
This is of course a natural part of the digestion process.
But as that food gets caked up on your tongue especially, it begins to thicken throughout the course of the day. Eventually it will start to smell and also turn to plaque (which can then lead to tartar).
While bacteria is the leading factor to bad breath, if you are a smoker, gum disease is likely to occur and will also cause your breath to smell. In this instance we would highly recommend the use of both a tongue scraper along with a water flosser to fully flush out your gumline.
While water flossers shouldn’t be relegated to just smokers, non-smokers should definitely check them out as well as they do an excellent job flushing away the plaque and food bacteria that is lodged between your teeth.
You can read our full article here that outlines all other causes for bad breath.
While your mouth is a hot bed for bacteria to grow – its a moist dark climate of which they thrive (I know this sounds kinda gross), but the fact remains – you need that smelly bacteria out of your mouth.
This is where the best tongue scrapers can really shine:
When a tongue scraper is used properly, it can literally scrape nearly all the bacteria off the surface of your tongue.
What’s more is that this entire process literally only takes a few seconds in the morning before you brush your teeth (and also before you go to bed).
To use a tongue scraper you simply grab on to both of the ends of the “U” shaped device (or handle) and press firmly on your tongue and scrape it towards the front of your mouth.
You will want to start from one side of your tongue and work to the other. Usually it will take no more than a total of five scrapes to fully remove all the bacteria.
If its your first time ever scraping your tongue, don’t be alarmed if you do experience some bleeding on the initial pass. If you do spot some blood, allow your tongue to recover for a couple of days and the wounds to fully heal before attempting to scrape it again – the last thing you want is a bacteria infection. Typically on the second or third time, your tongue should have built up enough resiliency in order to get easily cleaned with regular use.
While of course the major benefit of scraping your tongue clean of bacteria is to reduce the prevalence of bad breath (halitosis), there are also a few other great things that you pick up as well.
Remember back in 6th grade science class they went over your tastebuds and how your tongue picks up flavors from the foods you eat?
Well when you completely removed all the bacteria from your tongue, you will be exposing your taste buds more allowing you to discover deeper layers of depth in the foods you eat! Just remember – fatty processed foods are more likely to cause bad breath than fruits – therefore proceed with caution!
In addition to helping out with the flavors of foods, scraping your tongue will also allow you to completely remove harmful toxins from your body – and to prevent them from being ingested into your body to begin with.
Generally speaking – scraping your tongue regularly should help boost your immune system*.
To make this the most comprehensive review possible – we list below all different types of tongue scrapers that are currently available on the market.
From the most popular Mr. Tung’s tongue cleaner to more practical methods like the HealthAndYoga disposable copper tongue cleaners.
Here is what we found out:
The gold standard in tongue scrapers – Dr. Tung’s does a great job at allowing you to easily scrape away at the bacteria build up found on your tongue.
With over 1 million sold to date, its easy to see why Dr. Tung’s tongue scraper sets the gold standard of which all other products are measured against.
First off, with the construction of the actual scraping band, its constructed from a piece of curved stainless steel. This curve allows you to easily reach in to the depths of your throat without pronounced gags (and should work for any mouth type).
In addition to being finely made from curved stainless steel, this tongue scraper also has large yet comfortable handles that allow you to easily apply a gentle pressure to your tongue without any fatigue when scraping.
The ability to easily apply leverage allows you to have full control on the comfort to prevent (or reduce) any bleeding when first learning to use a tongue scraper.
As an additional bonus, every package of Dr. Tung’s tongue scraper comes with a bamboo viscose fiber travel pouch for easy and hygienic storage.
Of all the top tongue scrapers that we reviewed, Dr. Tung’s is one of the best and that we recommend for you should this be your first or fifth tongue scraper:
If you didn’t know that this was classified as a tongue scraper, many men could easily confuse this for a specialized woodworking tool that should be at home on a work bench in the shed or garage.
However, fear not – this is a great tool to use on your tongue and one that is going to be really effective at scraping the plaque and all sorts of foul smelling odors off of your tongue.
This tongue scraper by HealthAndYoga comes in a pack of 12, therefore if you are looking to share with family members – this makes for an excellent value pack. Just be sure that if you share with family members that you somehow uniquely identify each one so you don’t accidentally swap between each other (you don’t share your toothbrushes after all).
Noticeably absent from this tongue scraper, especially when compared to the widely popular Dr. Tung’s cleaner is that it doesn’t have handles (just an extension of the metal wire). Therefore when scraping your tongue you may not be able to apply the same sort of leverage sans handles.
However, many folks have mentioned that they were still adequately able to clean their tongue with some effort.
Being that these are designed from copper, they should be able to last your entire lifetime (assuming that you treat them with relative care), however HealthAndYoga does include a lifetime warranty for an extra peace of mind.
Another unique point for this particular set of tongue scrapers is that they are also dishwasher safe, so if you would rather just toss them in with your dishes on a daily or weekly basis, you absolutely can without fear of having them damaged.
Lastly regarding the “U” shaped design, much like the Dr. Tung’s you should be able to adequately get all the way to the back of your throat with relative ease.
Overall, these are an excellent set of tongue scrapers that are sure to leave your breath smelling completely fresh after use.
It’s incredibly affordable price for the number of tongue scrapers contained just simply can’t be beat – especially if you are buying these for your entire family.
Unlike many of the metal based tongue cleaners and scrapers that we reviewed, this one from Wouty is made from plastic.
While several may think that the plastic based design by Wouty may be inferior, many love the ease of use that this tongue scraper provides.
One of the best parts about this tongue scraper is that it only requires one hand to use, and its incredibly easy to do so at that. If you are so inclined you can easily scrape your tongue with one hand and multitask with the other.
Also with its single hand design, this should be able to fit in most toothbrush holders or cups to ensure a hygienic resting area while you let it air dry. Tongue scrapers that come in the two handle design require that you straddle some sort of ledge between use – which may not be nearly as hygienic (depending on your bathroom counter situation) unless of course they include a storage pouch like Dr. Tung’s.
You will also find that this tongue scraper actually has two different sides for use, one side has an outward facing rivet that is designed specifically for the center of your tongue, and the smoother side is for the more sensitive side areas of your tongue.
Performance wise, this tongue scraper should be adequate to clear off the bacterial buildup that is causing halitosis. Even though you are only using one hand to apply the pressure, the handle is long enough to provide ample leverage.
While this product is plastic, it is BPA free.
Lastly, Wouty does include two tongue scrapers in each package for either easy sharing or longer term use.
Overall Wouty delivers a fine product that lends itself to perhaps a more hygienic design when compared to the “U” shaped metal tongue scrapers. For the price as well, you can’t beat the value of this product.
Much like the HealthAndYoga tongue scraper, this tongue scraper by Simply Naz comes with an extremely sleek and minimalist design.
However, unlike the HealthAndYoga, this one only comes with one in the package opposed to 12. Therefore when comparing the two, the Simply Naz isn’t nearly as great when it comes to value.
So what’s in the package?
This tongue scraper is made of stainless steel, therefore is not naturally susceptible to rust. With adequate care this tongue scraper will be able to last your entire life.
Also given its industrial, clean edge design, you can simply place it in a dishwasher for regular cleaning or you can also clean it with a gentle hand wash.
This tongue scraper does strike a nice balance between the larger handle Dr. Tung’s and other tongue scrapers that are absent of any handles to help apply leverage.
You should have no problem getting a grip of this tongue scraper and making the adequate strokes across the length of your tongue.
Note: Some users of this tongue scraper have claimed that the adjoining scraping part to the handle may be too sharp and cause unnecessary discomfort when inserting and removing this from your mouth.
Regarding the shape of this tongue scraper, it follows suit of other tongue scrapers as being in the classic “U” shape design, however this “U” does appear to be a bit wider when compared to other brands. While it should be able to fit into your mouth should it be a bit on the smaller side, the amount of control to get along the edges of your tongue may be a bit more trickier.
Overall this is a fine tongue scraper that will get the job done to remove foul odors and plaque from your tongue.
This medical grade stainless steel tongue sweeper is a hybrid design compared to the plastic single piece alternative by Wouty and the “U” shaped design by Dr. Tung’s.
The Tongue Sweeper comes with a lifetime warranty that should be able to hold up to the toughest conditions.
Given that its crafted from a single piece of stainless steel with a long and slender handle, it should be able to fit into most toothbrush holders and of course is able to rest in a cup as well.
With its slightly rounded edges, this tongue scraper should work for anyone and be completely comfortable yet effective in removing bacteria and plaque along your tongue.
An additional benefit to this tongue scraper not found in too many is that they come with a silicone band around the base of the head so you can easily tell which one is yours.
Of course given its all metal design this is both hand washing and dishwasher safe.
If you are looking for a tongue scraper in an incredibly compact design – you can’t beat the the Model P.
This narrow headed tongue brusher is a hybrid between both the traditional single piece tongue scrapers like the Tongue Sweeper or the plastic based Wouty scraper.
However, where the GUM Tongue really differs itself is that its significantly more narrow than the Wouty (more in line with the Tongue Sweeper) but also has a brush affixed to the side of the scraper.
With the narrow based head, you can go deeper in your throat without likely a pronounced gag reflex happening. You will be able to also navigate in the hard to reach areas of your mouth and scrub it completely clean – which simply isn’t the case in the metal tongue scrapers that come in the “U” shaped pattern.
Additionally, with the brush affixed to this device, you can easily place a very small amount of toothpaste on the bristles and then gently scrub your tongue to have a longer lasting fresh and clean feeling after finishing.
With the long handle of this scraper, you should be able to provide plenty of leverage while working on your tongue.
Lastly, the GUM Tongue does come in a variety of colors making it easy to identify your scraper from other family members.
With all the different varieties of tongue scrapers currently available on the market, we still feel that Dr. Tung’s is by and far one of the best all around tongue scrapers that you can purchase. With its terrific design and reinforced handles, you should be able to easily scrape your tongue of plaque and general bacteria that is causing foul mouth odors.
For those that have a smaller mouth or want more versatility, the GUM Tongue is an excellent alternative, especially given that it comes with a brush attached to the scraper, allowing you to perform additional cleanings on your tongue post-scraping.
* I am not a doctor or dentist – should you have medical questions please consult your personal doctor/dentist.