Wondering what a tongue scraper is—and how you actually use one? Some dentists recommend these little tools to clean your tongue and instantly freshen breath. Here, our top picks.
It may be an additional step in your routine (not to mention a little gross-sounding), but experts say there are plenty of good reasons to invest in a tongue scraper. "Tongue scrapers remove bacteria, fungus, and debris from the surface of the tongue that toothbrushes may not reach effectively," says Kay Jordan, DDS, a dentist based in Louisiana.
Think of your tongue like a shag rug, says Laurence Grayhills, DMD, a dentist in Wellington, Florida. The tongue is comprised of thousands of tiny, finger-like projections called papillae, which form the strands of that rug, he says. "Deep in the crevices of the papillae, bacteria congregate and remain relatively untouched until a tongue scraper removes them from their incubating haven." Lovely!
While he encourages everyone to use a tongue scraper, some people may benefit more than others—everyone's mouth is different, and certain people have longer papillae that enable bacteria to thrive more easily. Left undisturbed, those bacteria can contribute to bad breath, Dr. Grayhills adds. Once you start scraping, in addition to fresher breath, you might also experience better tasting food and a generally cleaner feeling.
Below, explore the 10 best tongue scrapers that are dentist-trusted and will improve your oral health
- Best Overall: Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner
- Top Dentist Recommended: Oolitt Breath Wand Tongue Cleaner
- Most Gentle: ScrapeYourTongue Daily Tongue Scraper
- Best Value Set: Orabrush Tongue Scraper Set
- Best for Bad Breath: Gum Dual Action Tongue Cleaner Brush
- Best for White Tongue and Thrush: MasterMedi Tongue Scraper
- Best Attachment: Foreo ISSA Tongue Cleaner
- Best for Poor Gag Reflex: Tongue Sweeper Tongue Cleaner
- Best for Kids: 55Dental Kids Tongue Cleaner
- Best Toothbrush: Oral-B CrossAction All In One Manual Toothbrush
1 Best Overall: Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner
More than 2,000 five-star reviews can't be lying. This Amazon shopper-favorite has a curved edge that feels comfortable on the tongue and can quickly and thoroughly slough off bacteria buildup, which translates to fresher breath. Its rounded design also gives you better control of the pressure, so it won’t activate your gag reflex or irritate sensitive mouths.
For Dr. Jordan, the real selling point is its stainless steel material. “It will be easier to keep clean,” he assures. This will also ensure its durability and lasting power.
2 Top Dentist Recommended: Oolitt Breath Wand Tongue Cleaner
Dr. Grayhills recommends Oolitt tongue scrapers for their comfortable and sufficient cleansing of the tongue. "[They] have a gentle serrated edge which can be dragged across the tongue without inducing the same degree of gagging as a toothbrush often does," he says. "If you don't think your tongue scraper is doing anything, spit into the sink after [using] this device. You'll be amazed."
The textured design is also what makes this tongue scraper excellent for removing tongue fuzz and reducing bad breath: It’s able to get deep into the crevices of your tongue and remove plaque, food debris, and other sources of bacteria. The scraper is also equipped with a bead bar, which massages the tongue and stimulates your taste buds for an improved sense of taste.
3 Most Gentle: ScrapeYourTongue Daily Tongue Scraper
If you need an affordable tongue scraper, look no further than this $5 model. The Amazon-favorite ScrapeYourTongue device gently loosens bacteria and removes it from your tongue. Created with comfort in mind, the unique U-shaped design effortlessly scrapes every inch of your tongue for more precision and control without triggering your gag reflex. And it’s BPA-free and recyclable, making it great for your mouth and the environment.
“This tongue scraper is simple and inclusive in design and is easy to use,” one reviewer wrote. “After brushing and rinsing I use it to scrape my tongue, and the difference it is making is visible on what is removed and palpable in how much fresher my mouth feels.”
4 Best Value Set: Orabrush Tongue Scraper Set
Stocked with four tongue scrapers, this value set from Orabrush ensures that your bathroom cabinet will always be stocked so everyone in your household has access to quality oral care. Since it’s a scraper and brush all in one, the multitasking device delivers a deeper cleanse and can easily dissolve accumulated bacteria from every crevice of your tongue, which explains its 4.7-star rating on Amazon. In fact, its micro brush bristles were inspired by the same brushes used by dental surgeons.
“This product is absolutely amazing,” one reviewer wrote. “The brush allows you to dislodge the yucky buildup on your tongue, and the scraper allows you to collect it and remove it all… This value pack is honestly more than worth it. One for the home, one for travel, and an extra set for when you need to replace it”
5 Best for Bad Breath: Gum Dual Action Tongue Cleaner Brush
This best-selling tongue cleaner from Gum has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon thanks to its multipurpose design, which brushes away bad breath-causing food debris and scrapes buildup from deep within your tongue. Between its rows of bristles, curved head, and far-reaching shape, the scraper brush dislodges the accumulated bacteria at the center of your bad breath and creates lasting freshness. According to reviewers, it can also be used to enhance the appearance of your tongue and reset your taste buds.
“This is definitely a must need for everyone who struggles with bad breath,” one reviewer wrote. “It [scrapes] off the gross buildup on your tongue so well. It may have to take a few times, but it’s still so very worth it in the end. Not sharp whatsoever and no need to apply [a] big amount of pressure.”
6 Best for White Tongue and Thrush: MasterMedi Tongue Scraper
White tongue is caused by the swelling and overgrowth of the papillae. To adequately clean your tongue, you’ll need a gentle scraper to remove the trapped bacteria without exacerbating the swelling. Offering a hygienic stainless steel and U-shaped design, the MasterMedi Tongue Scraper’s smooth edges are able to easily navigate around your tongue and get into every crevice and fold. For added comfort, it’s also got an anti-gag ridge so you can get a deep cleanse every time, which explains its Amazon best-seller status.
“I have had oral thrush for several months, which left my tongue feeling like it was covered with carpet,” one reviewer wrote. “Despite prescription pills and mouthwash, I still had white patches on my tongue that were resistant to scrubbing with my toothbrush. I have used this tongue scraper three times a day for just two days and already notice a big difference. My tongue is pinker and the patches seem to be lessening.”
7 Best Attachment: Foreo ISSA Tongue Cleaner
If you thought a tongue cleaner couldn't be chic, think again. This super cute tongue cleaner attachment works with Foreo's popular ISSA toothbrush to deliver a more efficient and thorough oral care experience. Aesthetically-pleasing design aside, the multitasking silicone tongue cleaner gently removes buildup with its various-shaped ridges, which simultaneously target superficial food debris while performing a deep cleanse of bacteria. The result: fresher breath and a cleaner mouth—all without creating discomfort, irritation, or gagging.
8 Best for Poor Gag Reflex: Tongue Sweeper Tongue Cleaner
Another highly-rated stainless steel model, this Tongue Sweeper device has a slim design that makes it easier to reach the very back of your mouth. Its curved head also inhibits your gag reflex, allowing you to thoroughly cleanse food and bacteria buildup in your tongue without causing discomfort. Perfect for sensitive mouths, its gentle construction also makes it ideal for removing the white film from your tongue and alleviating symptoms of bad breath. Plus it’s made from stainless steel, which means that it will be easier to sanitize between each use.
“I was hesitant with this metal one, thinking it would be too dull, but this has been great,” one reviewer wrote. “I was surprised to really like the small size; it rarely makes me gag. Metal also is easy to clean and sanitize. So I am very happy with this one.”
9 Best for Kids: 55Dental Kids Tongue Cleaner
Enrich your child’s oral care routine with this tongue cleaner from 55Dental. Available in four kid-approved colors and featuring a fun lollipop design, these tongue cleaners for children gently scrape away food and bacteria, picking up whatever was left behind from brushing. They also help combat bad breath germs, are easy-to-hold, and have a 4.6-star rating on Amazon.
“My toddlers love these,” one reviewer wrote. “They get excited to use them. They absolutely love the design and colors. I let them try themselves… they got it and did not have any issues. I wish I did a before and after because it did the job and my kids did not fuss, gag or cry. I highly recommend.”
10 Best Toothbrush: Oral-B CrossAction All In One Manual Toothbrush
This toothbrush from Oral-B simplifies your daily brushing routine thanks to its innovative brush head, which doubles as a tongue cleaner due to its textured design. Each ridge is strategically placed to eliminate bad breath germs and accumulated bacteria from every inch of your tongue and cheeks, creating an overall healthier ecosystem within your mouth. Its versatility makes it a fan-favorite among Amazon shoppers, who have given this multipurpose toothbrush a 4.7-star rating.
“As a dentist, I highly recommend this product for oral hygiene purposes,” one reviewer wrote. “As an added bonus, the back of the brush head is an excellent tongue scraper, which is a must for proper dental hygiene.”