Top 7 Benefits of Using a Tongue Scraper

BY Dr. McDowell  |  September 29th, 2022
Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

Did you know that your oral health can impact your overall health? That’s right, poor oral health can lead to many chronic diseases like:

But instead of talking about scary things that can happen if you neglect your oral health, let’s explore what you can do to remain happy and healthy! A great way to contribute to your oral health is to use a tongue scraper— explore the top benefits below!

What Is a Tongue Scraper?

A tongue scraper is a small, metal, or plastic tool that helps remove bacteria, food debris, and dead cells from your tongue. Not only does this help freshen your breath, but it also reduces your risk of developing cavities and other gum diseases.

Tongue scrapers come in different shapes and sizes, and you can find them at most convenience or drug stores. Tongue scraping is meant to be used in tandem with brushing and flossing— not as a replacement. But, it’s a fast way to remove extra, unhelpful particles from your tongue’s surface.

tongue scraper blue

7 Benefits of Using a Tongue Scraper

Tongue scraping has many benefits, especially when used together with teeth brushing. The top seven advantages are:

1) Removes Bacteria

One of the most important benefits of tongue scraping is that it helps remove bacteria from your tongue. Brushing and rinsing alone only remove the outer layer of bacteria, but the cells beneath it still thrive. In fact, a study found that tongue scrapers can remove up to 79% more bacteria than brushing alone! Tongue scrapers remove Mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli, which can cause bad breath and dental decay.

2) Better Sense of Taste

Research from 2004 found that using a tongue scraper twice a day can improve your sense of taste! This can help you better distinguish bitter, salty, sweet, and sour tastes.

3) Activates Organs

You can awaken your internal organs by using a tongue scraper. That’s right; eliminating the toxins that accumulated on your tongue overnight can help the rest of your body get started for the day.

4) Remove Excess Debris

You may notice that excess debris builds up on your tongue sometimes and takes a white, coated appearance. Daily tongue scraping can help remove this coating and keep it away for good.

5) Better Digestion

The process of digesting your food begins in your mouth. The enzymes in your saliva help break down your food for easy digestion. Tongue scraping helps activate those enzymes for better digestion.

6) Removes Bad Breath

One of the primary reasons people use tongue scrapers is to help with bad breath. By removing the bacteria that cause bad breath, you can kiss your morning dragon breath goodbye! Just keep in mind that it’s best to use a scraper twice a day because scraping in the morning won’t keep bad breath at bay for the entire day.

7) Boosts Overall Health

Your tongue is home to many different kinds of bacteria. Some of these bacteria are good for you, and some are bad. By using a tongue scraper, you can remove the harmful bacteria and help boost your immunity. It will also help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other issues.

How to Use a Tongue Scraper

Most tongue scrapers have a slightly rounded shape and look like an inverted spoon (you can even use a clean spoon as a tongue scraper if you’re in a pinch!). You can choose one made from:

To properly use a tongue scraper, follow these steps:

The entire process usually takes less than two minutes, making it easy to add to any routine!

What Bad Breath Can Be a Symptom Of

Bad breath is the primary reason most people use tongue scrapers. But bad breath isn’t just caused by eating too many onions and garlic. Many different factors can cause bad breath, including:

As you can see from this list, some causes of bad breath are circumstantial and will go away after a short period of time (ie, eating a certain type of food). But, some issues are more serious. If you’re experiencing chronic bad breath that even a tongue scraper can’t help, be sure to visit a doctor because there could be a larger problem underneath the surface.

tongue scraper

Best Brands Tongue Scrapers You Can Buy

There is a whole slew of tongue scrapers on the market in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and materials. It can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Your dentist will happily provide advice on the types of tongue scrapers they recommend. But if you don’t want to wait until your next appointment to get started, you can try out one of the products from this list:

Are There Any Side Effects?

Tongue scraping is generally a very safe practice to adopt. However, the biggest concern that many people have is triggering their gag reflex. If you use the scraper too far back on your tongue and have a sensitive gag reflex, it could cause you to vomit. Which no one wants.

To avoid gagging or vomiting, don’t place the scraper too far back on your tongue. Start in the middle or anywhere that feels most comfortable.

You should also be mindful not to accidentally cut your tongue’s surface with the scraper. Simply keep your eye on your scraper before each use to ensure it doesn’t have any rough or uneven edges.

Also, don’t apply too much hard pressure. Remain gentle enough so that you don’t harm your taste buds or cut your skin, but still use enough pressure to scrape off excess debris from your tongue. It’s always best to start more slowly and gently than you may need in order to get a feel for the practice.

Other Tips for Improving Oral Health

Tongue scraping is a great addition to your oral health routine, but it won’t keep your mouth healthy by itself. Taking a well-rounded approach to your dental health is the best way to stay healthy. Maintain and improve your dental health by:

Take Your Dental Health Into Your Own Hands

Living a healthy life comes in many different facets— including dental health! Using a tongue scraper each day is one way you can improve your oral health when combined with regular brushing. And when it’s time for those twice-a-year dental check-ups, you need a dentist that makes you feel comfortable and supports your health.

Here at Wayzata Dental, we strive to provide pain-free dentistry with the help of innovative laser dentistry practices. Whether you need a regular cleaning or a cavity filling, we’re here to set your health up for success.

Reach out today to schedule an appointment!


How often should you use a tongue scraper?

It’s best to incorporate tongue scraping into your daily oral hygiene routine. This helps eliminate bacteria and improve overall oral health.

How long does it take to see results from tongue scraping?

Results from regular tongue scraping can become noticeable within a few weeks.

Are metal tongue scrapers better than plastic?

Metal scrapers are durable and provide thorough cleaning, while plastic ones are gentle and more flexible, making them a good option for those with sensitive tongues. Choose the one that feels most comfortable for you.

Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..