Over the years I’ve tested a variety of different tongue scrapers — copper, steel, plastic; you name it.
I’ve also tested the tongue cleaning functionality on various toothbrushes.
In this post I give my advice on which tools are best, based on my own hands-on testing.
I’ve also created a buyer’s guide to explain a bit more about the different options.
All of the content has been medically approved by our in-house dentists.
Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner
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Orabrush Tongue Cleaner
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Earth Vigilante Stainless Steel Tongue Scraper
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Fawnmum Tounge Scraper
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Kosha Ayurveda Copper Tongue Scraper
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Our Top Picks For Best Tongue Scraper
Below you can find out more about our choice for the best tongue scraper, Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner, as well as some other noteworthy choices.
1. Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner
Having tried the best-selling scrapers and brushes on the market, we found Dr. Tung’s to offer the best overall experience. Taking into consideration the price, design, and effectiveness of the clean.
|Dr Tungs Tongue Cleaner||3 Reviews||8.03S$ 6.71S$||View on Amazon|
One of the most widely regarded and highest rated tongue cleaners available today, Dr. Tung’s tongue cleaner is made from stainless steel and comes nicely packaged and even has a travel pouch included.
The shape of the cleaner is somewhere between a U and a V, with thick rubber grips on the end of the stainless steel to act like handles.
There is a nice degree of flex in the material and although steel by its very makeup is strong, it is not too rigid.
Thick enough that it does not feel too sharp (in our opinion) when pulled along, it is not so thick that there is no scraping sensation. It could be considered a little harsh on the edge, certainly more so than the HealthandYoga option.
The handles can be used as grips as you pull the cleaner from the back of the tongue to the front and can be used either one handed or two handed. Two hands give a little more control. We did not get a choice of colored rubber grips, but depending on where you buy it you may do.
The simple design and metal construction mean that you do not need to replace it regularly, and in fact, it can last for years.
To clean it a simple rinse under warm water or a wipe with a cloth will suffice.
The travel pouch is a really great inclusion to not only protect from damage and dirt when traveling with it but just making it easier to access. The design is perhaps a little feminine and a pouch in one solid color would have been preferred, but it is the only one of all the scrapers that includes a pouch at all.
Priced at around S$6.50 at the time of writing, this is not the cheapest but has potentially a lifetime of use ahead of it. Even if you price it over a couple of years, it works out a lot cheaper than those designed to be replaced every few months.
2. Orabrush Tongue Cleaner
Out of all the scrapers, the Orabrush Tongue Cleaner Fresh Breath Brush With Scraper won the tickle test. We found it the least comfortable to use initially.
|Orabrush Tongue Cleaner - 4pk||4 Reviews||40.66S$||View on Amazon|
You certainly do become used to it, but the number of bristles that scrape along the tongue surface created a sensation that felt a bit strange.
The combination of bristles and scraper work well to clean the tongue. With this scraper, we had the feeling that we had really had to put some effort into cleaning our tongue, but the sensation appeared to last longer.
This scraper is much like a normal toothbrush, but the head is much wider and there is a different bristle arrangement to normal toothbrushes.
The handle was certainly strong and felt like it would stand the test of time.
The recommendation from DenTek, the manufacturer of Orabrush, is to replace this every 3-4 months, roughly the same time you would replace a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush head.
3. Earth Vigilante Stainless Steel Tongue Scraper
The simplistic nature of the Earth Vigilante scraper really won us over.
This scraper is all-metal construction, like Dr. Tung’s, and there are nicely rounded handles/grips at the two ends compared to the rubber with Dr. Tungs. Whilst the rubber tips are easier to hold onto, especially when wet, the end of the scraper tends not to be too exposed to moisture and as such poses little issue.
Made of stainless steel, the scraper is durable and will last many years thanks to the strength of the steel.
The edges are slightly more rounded than some others and it felt slightly softer to the touch. This results in a less aggressive scrape of the tongue, but still effective.
There was certainly flex in the metal but not to the extreme of the others. It was the most likely to spring back to its original shape.
A simple rinse or wipe after use is all that is needed to keep this in good shape.
Included is a simple metal case to hold and protect the scraper when not in use. It is also very convenient for travel.
Buy from Lazada.
4. Fawnmum Tounge Scraper
A simple, but honestly effective design is this PVC plastic scraper from Fawnmum.
Packaged as 2 pcs, the long handles help ensure you get a good reach to the back of the tongue.
|Fawbmum Tongue Scraper - 2pk||10.00S$ 7.00S$||View on Amazon|
There are actually 2 sides to this scraper.
1 side is the scraper with a soft silica-based coating to the cleaner to remove the coating that exists on the tongues surface.
On the other side is a plastic brush (not quite like a regular toothbrush) to act as another way to disturb and remove plaque.
With a non slip design to the handle you should be able to keep a good hold on the scraper when in use.
The scraper measures 7.1″ in length and the head is 1.2 inches wide.
It looks a little cheap and basic, but it certainly does the job that it needs to.
5. Kosha Ayurveda Copper Tongue Scraper
This is very similar to Dr Tungs and the Earth Vigilante scraper, but it is made from copper.
The use of copper rather than stainless steel is because it is understood that copper has antimicrobial properties.
The downside is that copper is quite soft and the thickness of these meant that they can be bent relatively easy. It is not a big issue, but something to be aware of.
|Kosha Ayurveda Copper Tongue Scraper - 2pk||13.95S$||View on Amazon|
Unlike some copper scrapers, these do have a wider and thicker edge to avoid doing any uncessary damage to the tongues surface.
The overall shape like the other metal scrapers is something between a V and U shape which is ideal for reaching the back of the mouth and pulling the scraper down over the tongue.
At either end of the scraper are thicker, rounded handles which help keep a firm grip on it.
Included in the package are 2 scrapers and cotton pouch cases to keep them safe and protected.
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Tongue Scraper Buyer’s Guide
If you’re not sure why you need a tongue scraper, or why you need to brush your tongue, have a read through the guide below.
Why clean your tongue?
Most of us know we should clean our teeth twice a day for 2 minutes, whether we do or not is another matter. But what about cleaning your tongue?!
Coming into contact with liquids and food stuffs just like your teeth, the tongues textured surface holds onto food debris just as much as your teeth.
The front or the tip of the tongue is relatively self cleaning compared to the back part of it which is limited in its contact to naturally cleanse itself. As a result, bacteria builds upon the tongue.
So if you suffer from bad breath regularly or even occasionally physically cleaning your tongue with a scraper will go a long way to helping resolve the problem. In fact, a study by Pedrazi showed a 75% reduction in the volatile sulfur compounds when using a tongue scraper.
Although removing the bacteria and food debris from the tongue will help reduce ad breath, there is no evidence that it reduces the risk of dental decay or gum disease.
What is a tongue scraper?
A tongue scraper comes in a couple of forms, both of which have the same intention; to remove a thing mucus-based layer of debris from the tongue.
More often than not the scraper is made from a soft flexible plastic and has a design similar to a conventional manual toothbrush, but rather than a small head with lots of bristles it has a larger often rounded design with one or two plastic scrapers running horizontally to the rounded head frame.
The alternative design for a tongue scraper is more traditional and more rudimentary looking; a thin piece of machined metal, usually stainless steel or copper, that has been formed into a “U” or “V” shape. It relies on the rounded but strong edge of the metal to scrape away the debris effectively.
Tongue brushes also exist. They share a larger sized head like a scraper, but have less bristles than a normal toothbrush and are often made from a soft rubber.
Do tongue scrapers work?
Yes, they do.
The American Dental Association suggests there is no real evidence to say that a tongue scraper works better than a brush.
But these studies suggested that by using a soft bristled toothbrush, there is some 30% variance in the effectiveness. A toothbrush is said to remove only 45% of the sulfur compounds.
Some electric toothbrushes have a tongue cleaning mode encouraging you to use your normal toothbrush head rather than a scraper. You can use a manual toothbrush too.
Ultimately any cleaner, be that a scraper, tongue brush or a normal toothbrush head, are more useful to you and your breath than not cleaning your tongue at all.
Those who suffer with bad breath will likely see greater benefit from a scraper and for what is just a few extra seconds each day can make a big difference.
How do I clean my tongue?
The process is relatively simple and can be completed in just 7 steps as shown in the following video.
Where to buy tongue scrapers
At the time of writing, we found Amazon had the most diverse range of tongue scraper on offer. We purchased ours from Amazon and have included links to the various scrapers throughout the article.
You can purchase tongue scrapers from some pharmacies and other online marketplaces.
This selection and the feedback given is our opinion based on weeks of research and personal hands-on testing. You might find you prefer to use your normal toothbrush, you might find the metal tongue scrapers too harsh on the tongue and that is fine. It is about finding what works for you.
If nothing else we hope this article has highlighted the importance of cleaning your tongue and helped you on your journey to better oral health care.
Have you used any of the tongue scrapers we have tried?
Got any comments about them, or maybe you have a question. Perhaps you have found a better option.
Leave a comment below as we would love to hear from you.