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Why we should all be scraping our tongues

by Ezra 5 minutes read

Last updated: 27 Apr, 2023

Tongue scraping is an important part of the oral hygiene routine that many people do not know about. If you are wanting to take your overall oral health to the next level, you should start introducing a tongue scraper into your routine.

It is common knowledge that you need to brush and floss your teeth twice a day to maintain good oral hygiene. However, many do not know that it is just as important to clean your tongue as it is to brush your teeth!

There are many types of toxins and bacteria that live inside your mouth and on your tongue. These harmful bacteria and toxins settle on the gums, teeth, and tongue and can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. On the tongue, this bacteria appears as a white, yellow, or brown coating. By washing the surface of your tongue, you will improve your oral health by reducing the risk of developing oral diseases.

The benefits of tongue scraping

Improves taste

By removing the build up on your tongue with a scraper you will greatly improve your sense of taste. A tongue which is coated in bacteria can affect your taste buds, so scraping your tongue regularly means you will be able to experience the full flavour of every meal!

Reduces bad breath

The bacteria and toxins found on your tongue tend to emit odours which cause bad breath. Tongue scraping improves bad breath by removing these harmful substances, with one study finding that scrapers eliminate 30% more volatile sulfur compounds than an ordinary manual toothbrush.

Removes bacteria and toxins

By adding daily tongue scraping into your routine, your overall oral hygiene will improve as harmful bacteria and toxins will be removed. This will leave your mouth feeling much cleaner and fresher.

How to clean your tongue

To properly clean your tongue, you need to:

  1. Stick out your tongue with your mouth open wide.

  2. Position the scraper comfortably at the back of your tongue so you do not trigger your gag reflex, and slowly pull it down along your tongue gently.

  3. Rinse the scraper under water after each scrape to remove debris and bacteria.

  4. Repeat the process until you have covered the entire surface of your tongue and it appears clean.

  5. Rinse your mouth out with mouthwash or water to remove any remaining food debris and dead cells.

  6. Clean the scraper with soap and warm water and store it in a clean, dry place.

Tongue scraping should only be done maximum twice daily, like flossing and brushing. Over-scraping may damage the soft tissues on your tongue which can lead to bleeding or irritation.

Types of tongue scrapers

There are many different types of tongue scrapers you can choose from depending on your budget and personal preference.


Plastic tongue scrapers are the most common kind. They can be found in most pharmacies for an affordable price but need, like a toothbrush, need replacing every few months.


Metal tongue scrapers are made of copper or stainless steel. They are much more durable than plastic scrapers and last longer because they can be sterilised.

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A tongue brush is similar to a toothbrush but the bristles and head are much smaller.


An electric tongue scraper is battery-operated and vibrates. The vibrations mean an electric scraper is more effective at removing debris and bacteria from the tongue compared to other types, however they are much more expensive than other options.

Disclaimer: We provide this information for educational purposes only. No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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