The 8 Best Tongue Scrapers of 2022

Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner will help keep your tongue and breath fresh

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Most people have their dental care routine down pat, but many miss one important step that keeps the mouth healthy and the breath fresh: cleaning the tongue. An easy, simple way to keep the tongue clean is with the use of a tongue scraper, a tool designed to remove extra particles and reduce bacteria and food debris on the tongue. This can help reduce bad breath and tongue coatings, explains Alison Newgard, DDS, assistant professor of clinical dentistry in the Division of Restorative Dentistry at Columbia University College of Dentistry.

Reviewed & Approved

For an easy-to-use tongue cleaner that is effective and affordable, Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner is our top choice. If you're looking for a scraper that has additional bad breath-fighting features, you'll want to Orabrush Tongue Cleaner.

“Hundreds of bacteria are found in the oral cavity, and the tongue provides a large surface area where bacteria can colonize,” Dr. Newgard says. “It's important to keep the tongue clean in order to reduce bacterial load in the oral cavity.”

When shopping for a tongue scraper, look for either a plastic or metal material, a wide scraper head, and any added features that may help further clean the mouth. Additionally, you'll want to look for a tongue scraper that is easy to clean and disinfect, especially if you're regularly on the go. We researched dozens of tongue scrapers and cleaners and evaluated them for ease of use, materials, pricing, and added features.

Here are the best tongue scrapers to add to your oral health routine.

Best Overall: Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner

4.9
Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner

 Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Easy to clean

  • Ergonomic

  • Travel-friendly

Cons
  • May be hard to reach the back of tongue

  • Edges may be too sharp

Who else recommends it? Bustle and The Strategist both picked Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner.

What do buyers say? 89% of 9,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

With its U-shape design, Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner is our favorite overall pick for best tongue scraper. It's easy to use with precise control—just place it at the back of your tongue and gently pull forward to scrape away food debris and particles, bacteria, and soft plaque. The curved design also prevents the gagging issues caused by too much pressure on the tongue when using a toothbrush or one-handed cleaners.

This scraper is made of easy-to-clean stainless steel so that it’s hygienic (Dr. Tung’s recommends cleaning the tongue scraper regularly by rubbing it with toothpaste), gentle on the tongue, and durable. It’s made with rubber handles for a comfortable grip and comes with a fabric pouch for portability.

Price at time of publish: $9

Material: Stainless steel | Reusable: Yes | Added Features: Comfort-grip handle, storage pouch

Best Budget: Basic Concepts Tongue Scraper 2-Pack

Basic Concepts Tongue Scraper 2-Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Durable

  • Easy to clean

  • Comfort-grip handle

Cons
  • May be too small for some

  • Edges may be too sharp for some

Basic Concepts combines affordability and effectiveness in a tongue-cleaning tool. While it’s similar to Dr. Tung’s in material—stainless steel for durability and easy sanitizing—this tongue scraper works more like a toothbrush and features a one-handed design.

It has a smooth, curved head to fit your tongue comfortably and features a non-slip handle so you can remove buildup on the surface of your tongue with precision and control. This also comes in a two-pack, so you’ll always have a backup.

Price at time of publish: $12

Material: Stainless steel | Reusable: Yes | Added Features: Comfort-grip handle

Best Scraper and Brush Combo: GUM Dual Action Tongue Cleaner Brush and Scraper

GUM Dual Action Tongue Cleaner Brush and Scraper

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Dual-sided (brush and scraper)

  • Narrow head for comfort

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Scraper ridges may be too rough

  • Narrow head may not give a thorough clean

Some prefer a brush to clean the tongue, while others find scraping results in a more effective clean. The GUM Dual Action Tongue Cleaner gives you both—it features bristles for brushing on one side and plastic ridges for scraping on another.

This tongue cleaner is also designed with a narrow head to minimize sensitivity and gag reflex, making it easier to clean the back of the tongue. Its grip handle resembles a toothbrush, making it easy to control for precise brushing and scraping.

Price at time of publish: $6

Material: Plastic | Reusable: Yes | Added Features: Narrow head to minimize sensitivity, dual-sided (brush and scraper)

Best for Bad Breath: Orabrush Tongue Cleaner

Orabrush Tongue Cleaner

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Brush and scraper in one

  • Comes in two-pack

  • Easy-grip handle

Cons
  • Bristles may be too soft

  • Not recyclable

The Orabrush Tongue Cleaner delivers extra cleaning power, thanks to its dual-action design. It features micro-bristles for reaching into the crevices of your tongue to lift away bacteria and a built-in tongue scraper at the edge to remove food debris and particles.

The Orabrush is also extremely easy to use. It’s straightforward (you operate it like a toothbrush) and less bulky than metal tongue scrapers, making it great for travel. It also features an extended handle that helps reduce gagging and allows for easier control.

Price at time of publish: $10

Material: Plastic | Reusable: Yes | Added Features: Dual-action (brush and scraper)

Best for Kids: 55Dental Kids Tongue Cleaner

55Dental Kids Tongue Cleaner

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • BPA-free

  • Cute, child-friendly design

  • Includes case

Cons
  • May be confused with a toy

  • May not be durable enough for some

If you want to set your kids on the right path for a lifetime of good oral hygiene, introducing tongue cleaning into their daily dental routine is a good idea. With its cute lollipop-inspired design and easy-to-hold handle, 55Dental Candy Tongue Cleaner is ideal for gentle cleaning of your child’s tongue.

This tongue cleaner is BPA-free and even comes with a smiley-face protective case to keep it sanitary and germ-free in your medicine cabinet or bathroom counter. It’s recommended that parents supervise young children’s use of tongue scrapers.

Price at time of publish: $13

Material: Plastic | Reusable: Yes | Added Features: Candy design, includes case

Best for White Tongue: mastermedi Tongue Scraper

mastermedi Tongue Scraper

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Durable

  • Ergonomic

  • Includes travel case

Cons
  • Scraper is very wide

  • Edge of scraper may feel too dull for some

When bacteria, debris, and dead cells get trapped in between the papillae on the surface of your tongue, it can cause a white film on your tongue. A gentle yet effective tongue scraper, like MasterMedi’s Tongue Scraper, can help deep-clean your tongue and minimize the white coating.

This tool is made of stainless steel and features contoured soft edges and a curved design that is flexible enough to twist and turn and get to the hard-to-reach areas of your tongue—without the gagging issues. It also had molded grips so they’re easy to hold and control.

Price at time of publish: $13

Material: Stainless steel | Reusable: Yes | Added Features: Ergonomic, includes travel case

Best for Hairy Tongue: DenTek Tongue Cleaner

DenTek Tongue Cleaner

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Three cleaning edges

  • Narrow design

  • Comfortable handle

Cons
  • Some found scraper too soft

  • Some found flavoring too “artificial”

A buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of the tongue that contain taste buds can result in a dark, hairy appearance. While unattractive, black, hairy tongue is usually harmless and temporary, an effective tongue scraper, however, can help prevent this symptom. The DenTek Tongue Cleaner is a good option because of its unique triple-edge scraper that stimulates dead skin cell removal with fewer strokes.

If you like the freshness toothpaste brings, you might prefer this tongue scraper, which features a mint flavor. Its low profile and narrow design also mean you can comfortably reach the back of the tongue without gagging.

Price at time of publish: $6

Material: Plastic | Reusable: Yes | Added Features: Three cleaning edges, mint flavor

Best Disposable: Grin Oral Care Disposable Tongue Cleaners

Grin Oral Care Disposable Tongue Cleaners

Bed Bath & Beyond

Pros
  • Hygienic

  • Made with recycled plastic

  • Fold-back pick

Cons
  • Handle may be too short for some

  • Edges can feel rough

If hygiene is your top priority, Grin offers disposable tongue cleaners, which means no sanitizing is necessary—you always have a fresh, clean tongue scraper to use. Made with recyclable plastic, this tongue cleaner gently removes bacteria from your tongue to prevent bad breath.

To double up on the convenience, these disposable tongue scrapers also come with a built-in toothpick that folds back for safety.

Price at time of publish: $4

Material: Plastic | Reusable: No | Added Features: Made with recycled plastic, fold-back pick

Final Verdict

For durability, effectiveness, and ease of use, Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner is our top pick, with curved cleaning edges to remove bacteria and food particles in seconds. If you don’t like the feel of stainless steel or prefer a one-hand, toothbrush-style design, the GUM Dual Action Tongue Cleaner Brush and Scraper is a good alternative.

How We Selected the Tongue Scrapers

To find and recommend the best tongue scrapers, we spoke with dentists and researched dozens of tongue cleaners and scrapers available in the market. We reviewed the materials used by the tongue scraper, the design of the tool, ease of use, and ease of cleaning to keep the tongue scraper effective and hygienic, as well as added features for ease of storage, portability, and travel. We also reviewed the pricing—most of the options on our list are affordable, while some that are at the higher end of the price spectrum offer additional features.

What to Look for in Tongue Scrapers

Material

If you’re shopping for a tongue scraper, you’ll likely see two types of commonly used materials—stainless steel and plastic. Many prefer a tongue scraper made with stainless steel as it’s effective, durable, and friendlier to the environment.

Some, however, may not like the feeling of stainless steel on their tongue and find a plastic tongue scraper more comfortable to use. “The stainless steel tongue scrapers are best since they can be cleaned and disinfected,” says Joseph Salim, DMD, dentist at Sutton Place Dental Associates in New York. “They also last longer than their plastic counterparts.” Dr. Salim stresses that the technique used is just as important as the kind of tongue scraper used.

Design

The most common types of tongue scrapers feature a curved, U-shape design that requires two hands to operate and a single-handle design that resembles a toothbrush. Either type is effective, as long as you are comfortable using it without gagging and able to scrape a large surface of the tongue. “You should go as far back as possible without causing a gag reflex,” Dr. Salim says. “The entire surface of the tongue needs to be cleaned, and this action needs to be repeated a few times.”

Easy to Clean

Because tongue scrapers work to remove food debris and bacteria from the surface of the tongue, it’s important to keep your tongue scrapers sanitized. Look for a tongue scraper that’s easy to clean regularly. Some scrapers have bristles for brushing that may trap particles, so be sure to pay careful attention to cleaning them.

According to Dr. Salim, stainless-steel tongue scrapers can be easily disinfected and they last a long time. “[Tongue scrapers need] to be cleaned by running it under warm water and leaving it to dry thereafter,” he says. Plastic tongue scrapers, like toothbrushes, need to be replaced every three to four months of regular use.

Added Features

If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, you may want to look for added features in a tongue scraper. Some tongue scrapers include a case for storage or a pouch for traveling. Some scrapers deliver extra cleaning power by combining bristles for brushing and ridges and edges for scraping—so you can choose the technique that’s right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do tongue scrapers work?

    Tongue scrapers are tools that scrape away bacteria, food debris, and dead cells on the surface of the tongue, helping to reduce the bacteria and toxins that cause bad breath. You place the head of the scrape at the back of your tongue and gently move the tool forward. "You should go as far back as possible without causing a gag reflex,” Dr. Salim says. “The entire surface of the tongue needs to be cleaned, and this action needs to be repeated a few times, after which rinsing and spitting can be done to complete the process.”

    She adds that you don't need to use too much force, but enough to feel like you're removing the layer of debris coating your tongue.

  • How often should you scrape your tongue?

    It is recommended that you scrape your tongue when you brush your teeth, at least twice a day, Dr. Newgard explains, adding that tongue scraping "reduces bacteria and food debris on the tongue which in turn reduces bad breath and tongue coatings."

  • Can a tongue scraper damage taste buds?

    Tongue scraping is a safe and effective way to keep the tongue clean if done correctly. It’s important not to press too hard on the tongue and to use gentle stroking motions. “Using a tongue scraper is more effective at reducing food debris than a toothbrush,” Dr. Salim says. “However, if you use a traditional scraper for a long time, a reduced taste sensation may ensue along with a slight balding of the tongue papillae.”

  • Should I tongue scrape before or after brushing?

    Dr. Newgard recommends scraping the tongue after brushing your teeth. “Adding tongue scraping to your daily routine is easy,” she says. “After brushing, just flip the toothbrush over and use the attached tongue cleaner or tongue scraper and scrape the tongue.”

  • How much do tongue scrapers cost?

    Tongue scrapers are typically inexpensive, usually costing less than $15. The products on our list range between $4 and $13, with Grin Oral Care's Disposable Tongue Cleaners coming in at the lowest price and 55Dental's 4-pack of Tongue Cleaners for Kids being the most expensive.

Why Trust Verywell Health

Stephanie Valera has written and edited articles for Mashable, Everyday Health, Weather.com, HuffPost, and CBSNewYork.com, among other publications. She was previously editorial director at the environmental organization NRDC, content director at Ziff Davis, and deputy editor at The Weather Channel Digital, where she covered breaking weather news and reported, wrote, and edited features on climate, environment, health, travel, and lifestyle. She has also held editorial positions at CBS, NBC, and BBC America.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The Best Tongue Cleaners. Bustle. https://www.bustle.com/wellness/best-tongue-cleaners

  2. The Best Things for Cleaning Your Tongue, According to Dentists and Hygienists. The Strategist. https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-tongue-cleaners.html

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