10 Best Tongue Cleaners & Scrapers (Review) In 2021
- 1. BASIC CONCEPTS Stainless Steel Tongue Scrapers
- 2. THINKPRICE BPA Free Tongue Scrapers & Travel Case
- 3. GUM Dual Action Tongue Cleaner Brush and Scraper
- 4. Pureline Tongue Cleaner & Scraper
- 5. Boka Rasana Stainless- Steel Tongue Cleaner with Linen Travel Pouch
- 6. Oralganix 2-in-1 Tongue Cleaner Brush & Scraper
- 7. MasterMedi Medical Grade Stainless Steel Tongue Scraper
- 8. Peak Essentials - The Original TUNG Brush Kit
- 9. DrTung's Comfortable Grip Stainless Steel Tongue Scraper
- 10. ANROYE 3 PCS Medical Grade Tongue Cleaner Set & Travel Case
The Best Tongue Cleaner & Scraper
Good oral health is key to preventing teeth decay, bad breath, and gum problems, and the key to having a confident smile. But sometimes, brushing and flossing alone is not enough to give you that super clean feeling. Enter, the tongue cleaner and scraper, which is not as painful as it sounds!
Bacteria and dead cells can build up over time on your tongue, giving you what is known as a tongue coating. This can be harmful to your health and is one of the most common causes of bad breath. While a toothbrush could be used to clean your tongue, a scraper or cleaner will help to remove this bacteria more effectively, and it can even improve your sense of taste. Dentists recommend tongue scraping twice a day to improve oral health and reduce bad breath.
We have reviewed some of the best tongue cleaner and scrapers available, plus a buying guide, and even a few frequently asked questions to help you choose which product is right for you.
Stainless steel tongue cleaner
Our best choice is the BASIC CONCEPTS Stainless Steel Tongue Scrapers. This comes in a pack of two, and, as each one should last as long as 50 plastic scrapers, the pack should keep you going for some time.
The Basic Concept scraper has a cleaning end that measures 1.5inches wide and comes with a non-slip handle. This handle is, in fact, just a curve, there is no added non-slip coating. It does however have a hook to help you hang it up in your bathroom storage. As it is made from stainless steel, it is durable, rust-proof, and can be easily sterilized. These tongue scrapers are very easy to use and environmentally friendly as they are not disposable, yet some users have reported the width of the head to be too small to be effective.
Easy to clean
Not overly comfortable to use
Travel case included
31mm scraping surface
The THINKPRICE BPA Free Tongue Scrapers is another excellent value for money item, as it comes in a pack of four, with a travel case. As the cleaners are all different colors, a pack could work for a family, as they wouldn’t get muddled up.
Made of BPA free plastic, these should be changed every few months and carefully cleaned after each use. They are a little flimsy, so not the easiest to clean. The ThinkPrice scraper measures 31mm in width and the handle has been ergonomically designed with a ridged non-slip grip to make it easy to use. The carry case is a definite advantage if you travel a lot and want to ensure you keep up your routine, although it does rattle around a bit as the scraper can’t be secured inside.
Travel case included
A little flimsy
Tongue brush and scraper
Comfort grip handle
Our budget pick for the best tongue cleaner and scraper is the 2-in-1 from GUM. GUM Dual Action Tongue Cleaner Brush and Scraper can be used as a scraper, or turned over and used as a tongue brush. If you use the brush features, it has two rows of bristles to help dislodge any bacteria from small crevices.
The head on this cleaner is quite slim, and the whole thing measures 9.1inches long, so it is a good shape and size to get right to the back of your tongue. The whole device is very effective, although the scraper is a little sharp, so that side is not very comfortable.
Cleans the very back of your tongue
The scraper is quite sharp
Set of three
FDA approved biocompatible material
11inch total length
The Pureline Tongue Cleaner & Scraper is our premium pick for the best tongue scraper. This product is recommended by dentists and has a reputation for being a leader in quality. This is made from FDA approved material, and while it is described as durable, it is quite fragile. If you travel a lot and want to keep a scraper in your bag, then this might not be the best choice as it will be inclined to break easily.
The Pureline is a little larger than some similar products but is still gentle enough to not cause you any pain while using. It can be easily cleaned in warm water and comes in various colors, although there is no guarantee that you will get multiple colors.
FDA approved and recommended by dentists
Linen travel bag included
The Boka Rasana Tongue Cleaner is made from stainless steel so is highly durable and good for the environment as there is no plastic to dispose of. This design is a little bit different from other tongue cleaners and scrapers, and you will need two hands to operate it. The U-shaped design means that you hold each ergonomic handle, place the steel curve at the back of your tongue, and drag it forwards. It is simple, just a bit different from others.
The handles are ergonomically designed, with ridges to act as a non-slip grip, and they come in different colors. The Boka Rasana also comes with a neat little linen travel bag. The scraper is quite broad, which means that you can clean your tongue in one scrape, but if you have a small mouth, this might be uncomfortable.
Needs two hands to operate
Not suitable for small mouths
Brush and scraper
The Oralganix Tongue Cleaner Brush & Scraper is another 2-in-1 option that gives you an ultra-fine brush on one side and a gentle tongue scraper on the other. This means that you can brush your tongue first to loosen debris and then remove the bacteria with the scraper so it is even more effective at eliminating bad breath. You may find the bristles a little harsh if you are not used to tongue cleaning.
With this product, you get a pack of four, and each brush has colored bristles, helping you to distinguish between yours and your family brushes if you share a bathroom. If you use them all yourself, as each brush lasts for three months, one pack is a years’ supply. The Oralganix is ergonomically designed, with a flat head brush to minimize gag reflex and a non-slip grip on the curved handle.
Brush and scraper in one
Pack of multiple colors
Medical grade stainless steel
Two travel cases included
Moulded steel grips
With the MasterMedi Medical Grade Stainless Steel Tongue Scraper, you get a pack of two cleaners, together with two carry cases, making this a great option for traveling. The design for this is similar to the Boka model, where you will need two hands to use it, but the steel handles and arch are still flexible so it can be bent slightly to make it comfortable for smaller mouths. The edges are also smooth.
The handles on the MasterMedi have moulded steel grips to help you hold it securely, and the whole thing can be easily cleaned after use. As there are no synthetic coverings for the grip, there are fewer places for bad bacteria to hide. You wash it with a hot water rinse, by hand, or even in the dishwasher.
Smooth, flexible edges
Two travel cases included
Two hands needed
Tung Gel included
If you don’t like the feel of a scraper or find them too harsh, then the Peak Essentials – The Original TUNG Brush Kit is a softer alternative for cleaning your tongue. This brush is designed to be used all over the tongue, without causing you to gag as thanks to its narrow size, you can reach the back relatively comfortably. The short, firm bristles are more robust for cleaning your tongue, compared to a regular toothbrush.
Included in this kit is the TUNG gel, which contains Zinc to neutralize bad breath and leave you with a fresh minty taste. It is only recommended to use this gel with the brush, as regular toothpaste will damage it. While the combination of the brush and gel is very effective, the gel itself can cause discomfort and a burning sensation if you use too much or for too long.
More gentle than a scraper
Gel is very effective
Gel can burn
No cover to protect the brush
Stainless Steel scraper
Bamboo fabric travel pouch
Dr Tung’s Tongue Cleaner is an arch-shaped scraper with two rubber-covered handles. Made from medical grade stainless steel, it is robust and long-lasting although there are a few reports of the rubber grips coming off the handles after use.
You should use two hands to grip the product correctly and for easy movement, but it is possible to use just one hand, as the model is a little more compact than some alternatives. A handy fabric travel bag is included with this scraper.
Travel cover included
Rubber handles may come off
Stainless steel cleaner
Carry case included
If you are looking for a fully comprehensive kit, then you should consider ANROYE 3 PCS Medical Grade Tongue Cleaner Set & Travel Case. It is our best value pick for a tongue cleaner. In the kit, you get a U-shaped scraper, a rake-shaped scraper, and a hollowed-out scraper. Each piece has a very specific purpose, although they are all effective.
The U-shaped option has a 1.8inch width, is flexible, and designed for quick use for all sized mouths. It has non-slip handles that can be screwed on and off, making it small enough to be portable. The rake-shaped option is narrower, elevated by 90degress, and works for removing normal debris although it will be slower than the U-shape. The hollowed-out scraper is double-sided, and designed for more precision scraping and thorough cleaning, good for smokers, and removing heavy debris that causes bad breath.
Easy to clean
The case is not durable
Features To Consider With Tongue Scrapers & Cleaners
The best tongue scraper should be comfortable to use, both in terms of the handle, and the feel on your tongue.
During tongue cleaning, there should not be any pain or bleeding, so you should select a tongue scraper that is smooth and relatively gentle, especially if you are new to doing this. If you find that a metal scraper is too aggressive for you, then you could opt for a brush version instead.
Many tongue scrapers now come with ergonomic handles, which will make it more comfortable to handle, although as it only takes about 20-30seconds to get a clean tongue, this may not be important for you. What is useful though, is to find a handle that doesn't slip. This can be achieved by getting a curved handle, or one that has either rubber grips or ridges built into the handle. Any of these options will stop your hand from slipping.
A tongue scraper can come in several designs, all of which will remove bacteria, eliminate bad breath, and leave you with a clean tongue.
The most common design is made from plastic and has a design that looks like a conventional manual toothbrush. However, instead of a small bristled head, it has a wider head with one or two plastic scrapers that run horizontally. To complete tongue scraping with this design, you place it at the back of your tongue and gently bring it to the front, repeating until you feel the tongue cleaning is complete, usually three or four times.
An alternative design is the more traditional, basic option, usually made from stainless steel or copper. With this, the metal is shaped like a U or V, giving you two handles. For tongue cleaning with this shape, you use the edge of the metal to clear away any bacteria and coating.
Tongue brushes are also available and these are a gentler way to achieve tongue scraping and boosting your oral health. These look a little like the plastic scrapers but have bristles (shorter and fewer than a toothbrush) and are often made with soft rubber.
Some more advanced models now give you the two plastic horizontal scrapers, like the most common design, but if flipped over, it has tongue brushes. These are a great option for tongue cleaning if the amount of debris you get alters, or if want to use the brush to loosen bacteria from specific areas, before removing it with the scraper for tongue cleaning that is very thorough.
Whichever design you prefer, they are all effective at removing the debris and bacteria that cause bad breath.
Ease Of Use
As it is recommended to use a tongue scraper twice a day, then ease of use is very important. All tongue scrapers are pretty straight forward to use, and generally require you to just drag the cleaner from the back to front of the tongue a few times to remove bacteria. However, there are a few aspects in terms of ease.
Firstly, you will see that some models will need you to use two hands to complete tongue scraping, which can be a little tricky in comparison to the models with one handle.
Secondly, you should also consider how easy it is to clean. Some tongue scrapers can be easily rinsed with warm water, whereas others, often those with rubber covering, can require more effort to keep them clean. The best tongue scraper in terms of cleaning is one that is made entirely from stainless steel. These can be put in the dishwasher for easy sterilization that will kill bacteria.
The best tongue scrapers are usually made from plastic, stainless steel, or a combination of the two.
Plastic scrapers are relatively soft and flexible and are the more affordable option, which is great if you are still trying to decide which design is best for you. The downside of this is the same as manual toothbrushes, they should be replaced every few months and cannot be recycled, so they aren’t great for the environment.
Stainless steel tongue scrapers are the most durable, at they won’t rust and are very difficult to break. This is a great option if you want to travel with them regularly and you can easily clean them, even in a dishwasher. They are more expensive than a plastic scraper and some people do find them a little bit aggressive, but they can last for a lifetime.
If you travel a lot and want to continue with your regular oral hygiene routine then the best tongue scraper for you will be one that comes with a carry case. This will enable you to keep it safely covered when packed in your bag, so it won't be contaminated with any further bacteria from the environment.
Just remember to always clean the tongue scraper before you put it in the carry case, so you are not transferring bacteria from the cleaner!
The shape of a tongue scraper can differ, largely depending on the design you have chosen. A tongue brush will look more like a toothbrush shape, but with a large head and fewer bristles, whereas a traditional metal tongue scraper will have a U-shape or V-shaped arch at the top. A U-shape will be smoother but both the U and V shape will work effectively, using the strong metal edge to scrape away the debris. The greater the width of the arch, the quicker it should be to use, as you will cover more of your tongue in one scrape. There is no best shape for a tongue scraper, it is a case of which you find the most comfortable for your mouth so you can use it regularly to improve your oral health.
Tongue Cleaner & Scraper FAQ
Q: How often should you clean your tongue?
For best results, it is recommended to complete tongue scraping or tongue cleaning once or twice a day. This will help to remove the bacteria that cause bad breath and tongue coating. Dentists recommend that using a tongue scraper becomes part of your regular oral hygiene routine, so each time you are brushing and flossing, you are also cleaning your tongue.
If you are a smoker, or prone to tongue coating or bad breath then you should ensure you scrape your tongue at least twice a day.
Q: Do tongue scrapers affect your taste buds?
The best tongue scrapers or tongue cleaners can affect your taste buds. If a tongue scraper is not used appropriately, or if you use one that is old, or sharp then you can cause damage to the taste buds.
However, if you conduct tongue scraping as it is intended, then you may find improvements in your sense of taste. Not only will the best tongue scraper, used gently and smoothly, remove the bacteria that cause bad breath, it will remove any debris that may be blocking your taste buds. Tongue brushes or tongue cleaners will eliminate the coating that builds up, freeing your taste buds to experience different flavors, rather than the taste of bacteria.
Q: What type of tongue cleaners are good for bad gag reflex?
Gag reflux is the body's natural defense for choking. For some people, larger tongue scrapers will activate the gag reflux very easily, while other people will not have any issues.
The best tongue cleaners to eliminate the gag reflux are those that have a narrow design, which will allow you to reach the more delicate areas towards the back of your tongue without your defense mechanism kicking in. Tongue brushes are often the preferred design for this, as they are slimmer than the more traditional tongue scrapers. You will still be left with a clean tongue but without the discomfort of gagging.
You Asked: Should I Scrape My Tongue? - Vital Record