Did you know that your mouth is home to billions of bacteria? It sounds gross, but the truth is that these bacteria play an important role in breaking down proteins in food and helping with digestion.
The problem is that some of these bacteria don’t just break down proteins, they also release stinky sulfate byproducts as they do so. Just think of the smell of rotten eggs and rotting flesh, and it’s enough to make you realise just how bad your bad breath can be.
Big news: the bacteria responsible for the terrible smell are most often found, not just in the plague on teeth, but also in the crevices of the tongue!
So, if you’re depending on only your toothbrush to maintain a clean, healthy mouth, then you’re missing out. Besides a toothbrush, using a tongue scraper will help remove the bacteria from your mouth and keep your breath (for the first time) minty-fresh!
What are tongue scrapers?
Tongue scrapers are used for gently scraping across the surface of the tongue to remove bacteria, and, at the same time, dead cells and food debris.
Since bacteria from your tongue can also transfer to your teeth, scraping your tongue doesn’t only put an end to bad breath, it also improves your mouth’s overall health, preventing cavities and gum inflammation.
While you can also clean your tongue by brushing back to front with a toothbrush, tongue scrapers have a flatter design that makes it easier for you to reach all the way to the back of the tongue.
Scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper daily, and your tongue will be pinker (no more of that sticky white film), cleaner, and you’ll likely get to bid bad breath goodbye!
Do tongue scrapers hurt the tongue?
Since many tongue scrapers are made with hard stainless steel or copper materials, the question that often arises is whether they damage the tastebuds.
Unless you scrub your tongue roughly, tongue scrapers are perfectly good dental tools to use, and won’t hurt your tongue.
How to use a tongue scraper
To use a tongue scraper, stick out your tongue, start the scraper at the back, and then run it all the way to the front two to three times. Before each new scrape, rinse the tongue scraper with water. You should also gargle with mouthwash when you’re done.
Dentists recommend that you use a tongue scraper after brushing in the morning or evening.
Best tongue scrapers to use
Dr Tung Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaner
Dr Tung’s Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaner is designed with a stainless steel edge that glides smoothly across the tongue, and adjustable handles so that you can cover either a wider or narrower surface area while scraping your tongue.
This product ranks #1 in Oral Care Accessories on iHerb. Shop Dr Tung Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaner for S$9.90 on iHerb, or S$6.71 at Watsons.
Wowe Pure Copper Tongue Cleaner
Anti-microbial and antibacterial, copper also provides vital enzymes to promote the survival of good bacteria in the mouth, which makes it a great material for tongue scrapers.
The Wowe Pure Copper Tongue Cleaner uses copper for the edge and handles, making it more environmentally friendly than other tongue scrapers that might use rubber or plastic handles. It also comes in a set of two in paper packaging, so you won’t be contributing any plastic waste to the landfills!
Get the Wowe Pure Copper Tongue Cleaner for S$15.37 on iHerb.
DenTek Orabrush Tongue Cleaner
DenTek’s Orabrush Tongue Cleaner doubles as a tongue scraper and brush because of its two-sided design that puts bristles on one side, and a plastic edge on the other.
Unlike a toothbrush that has plastic bristles in various tight clusters, the Orabrush Tongue Cleaner has soft, micro-pointed bristles that are able to reach into the crevices of the tongue. If your tongue has deep groves, this tongue brush is a good choice for you!
Get Dentek Orabrush Tongue Cleaner for S$12.50 on Shopee, or S$21.80 (pack of four) on Amazon.
TheraBreath Tongue Cleaner
People who have a more sensitive mouth can opt for a plastic tongue scraper like the TheraBreath Tongue Cleaner instead.
Since plastic is more gentle on the tongue than copper and stainless steel materials, you’ll feel more comfortable as you scrape your tongue day and night. TheraBreath’s tongue scraper also has a double edge, one side with ridges and the other side flat, so you can choose whichever feels better on your tongue!
Get TheraBreath Tongue Cleaner for S$7.12 on iHerb.
Cafhelp Tongue Cleaner
Should you prefer a tongue scraper that has a single-handle design yet is made with metal, then go for the Cafhelp Tongue Cleaner.
The Cafhelp Tongue Cleaner is made from surgical grade stainless steel and boasts an elegant one-handle design with a wide edge. You’ll be able to hold the tongue scraper just like you would a toothbrush, and clean all the way to the back of your tongue!
Get Cafhelp Tongue Cleaner (pack of two) for S$14.52 on Amazon.
Sestball Tongue Scraper
For those who fly often, the Sestball Tongue Scraper is the perfect travel companion. It’s slim and comes in a small case, which lets you easily take it with you wherever you go. It also has a coloured handle that makes it easier for you to distinguish yours from your family’s!
Get Sestball Tongue Scraper for S$18.67 on Amazon.
Moosec Tongue Scraper
Clean your tongue through and through with Moosec’s Tongue Scraper which has a four-layer brush and three-layer tongue scraper!
The brush-end of the tongue cleaner is made with soft silicone, and helps to loosen the debris, bacteria, as well as dead cells from the crevices in your tongue. On the other end of the tongue scraper is a three-layer stainless steel edge, so running the scraper over your tongue once is almost like doing it three times.
With both bristles and edges, the Moosec Tongue Scraper truly lets you have the best of both worlds.
Get Moosec Tongue Scraper for S$24.18 on Amazon.
Feature image credit: Freepik