It can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to experience bad breath, but it is a common condition. However, there are solutions available. A tongue scraper can be used to help reduce the amount of build-up of odor-causing bacteria on the tongue.
Tongue scrapers come in a few different forms, but the most common is a conical-shaped plastic or metal device. They are generally inexpensive and easily accessible online or at a local convenience store.
For successful results, it is recommended to use your tongue scraper daily to help reduce the amount of debris and build-up on your tongue. Daily scraping can help reduce bad breath, increase taste sensitivity, and improve your overall oral health.
Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by an oral health condition like gum disease or dry mouth. In some cases, it may indicate a more serious medical condition.
The most common causes of bad breath include:
A tongue scraper helps reduce the build-up of bacteria that causes malodors, but it must be done consistently. If you use your tongue scraper in the morning, it won’t benefit you after several meals.
The key to reducing bad breath is to brush and floss regularly and stay hydrated by drinking water, so your mouth is not dry. Using a fluoride mouthwash can also help keep your breath fresh.
Always remember to maintain routine dental visits to ensure you do not have gum disease or tooth decay. Of course, using your tongue scraper daily can also assist in reducing these conditions.
Using a tongue scraper is relatively simple and there are rarely ever any difficulties. The best way to use a tongue scraper is to practice using it in front of a mirror to become familiar with the process.
The steps include:
There are numerous benefits to using a tongue scraper. Some key advantages include:
There are few side effects to using a tongue scraper. It is generally a painless and simple experience.
The most commonly reported downsides are activating a gag reflex, which can cause gagging or vomiting. When this happens, you should avoid using the tongue scraper too far back.
Sometimes a person is too forceful with the tongue scraper, which may cause an accidental sore. Try to be mindful of how much pressure you use. If your tongue bleeds, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater and let your tongue heal before using it.
Always remember to wash your tongue scraper and keep it in a dry location to avoid bacterial build-up. Plastic tongue scrapers often have to be changed more frequently than stainless steel scrapers.
To clean your tongue scraper, wash it gently with warm soapy water. Keep it stored in a dry, clean place.
Try to avoid keeping your tongue scraper in any closed container as it may cause bacterial buildup, which is harmful to your oral health and can also help eliminate bad breath.
You can purchase a tongue scraper at a convenience or drug store or any online marketplace like Amazon. A tongue scraper is generally inexpensive and usually costs only a few dollars.
Some of the best dentist recommended tongue cleaners include:
This tongue scraper is highly rated with over 38,000 reviews. It has a 100% stainless steel curved shape scraper to effectively remove debris. The U shaped tongue scraper makes it easy to use, which helps reduce the risk of gagging. The device is also very durable.
It comes with a travel case and is perfect for on-the-go. The Mastermedi is also cost effective.
This is a patient friendly tongue scraper because of its non-slip comfort grip and extra wide, curved shaped scraper. It is 100% rust-free because it is composed of medical grade stainless steel. It is simple to sterilize to avoid any bacterial build-up.
It comes in a 2-pack, so you can share them with a significant other or save one as a replacement.
This cost-effective four pack is a great option for people looking for a safe, plastic tongue scraper. It is made from BPA-free materials and is hassle free. People prefer this brand because the head is extra-wide and C shaped allowing for more bacterial removal during scraping.
The kit comes with 4 tongue scrapers and a travel case. It has good value for the price and is great for families looking to improve their oral hygiene.
Orabrush is a highly recommended, handheld tongue scraper for people looking to loosen bacteria that is caught in deep crevices of the tongue. It contains a built in scraper with microsoft bristles to increase comfortability and ease of use.
Bad breath. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/bad-breath
Rosenberg M. Bad breath. http://www.uptodate.com/home
Soares LG, et al. Effectiveness of full- and partial-mouth disinfection on halitosis in periodontal patients. Journal of Oral Science. 2015;57:1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25807902/
Outhouse TL, Al-Alawi R, Fedorowicz Z, Keenan JV. Tongue scraping for treating halitosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Apr 19; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16625641/
Pedrazzi V et. al. Tongue-cleaning methods: a comparative clinical trial employing a toothbrush and a tongue scraper. J Periodontol. 2004 Jul;75(7):1009-12. doi: 10.1902/jop.2004.75.7.1009. PMID: 15341360. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15341360/
Varghese E. Interventions for managing halitosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Dec 11;12(12):CD012213. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012213.pub2. PMID: 31825092; PMCID: PMC6905014. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31825092/