The One Step That's Probably Missing From Your Oral Hygiene Regimen

by Lisa Fogarty

You brush your teeth and floss like it's your hobby. You visit dentists so often their numbers are listed under Favorites on your contact list. But if you're not scraping your tongue with one of the best tongue scrapers, you're neglecting a step that could make a huge difference in your oral hygiene.

Tongue scraping is an ancient practice in Ayurveda — one of the oldest healing systems in the world — that is becoming more and more common. Simply by gliding a tongue scraper on your tongue, starting at the back of your mouth and moving it forward, you are eliminating debris and dead cells that can build and leave a coating on your tongue. If not removed, this bacterial coating can be a culprit behind bad breath.

Even if you're skeptical, it can't hurt to try a tongue scraper. These five highly-rated tongue scrapers are affordable and it takes just a few seconds each day to incorporate this practice into your oral health routine. Maybe it can make a huge difference in your overall health, but, at the very least, it will give you a fresher, cleaner tongue and mouth — sounds like a tool well worth the investment.


A Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaner That's Gentle On Your Tongue

Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner, $7, Amazon

Gentler than a plastic option, this stainless steel tongue cleaner has a curved edge and is adjustable to fit your mouth. Recommended by dentists and hygienists, this is one of the best-selling tongue cleaners on the market — one that reviewers say is just the right size and has the ideal sharpness to get rid of filmy coatings. It even comes with a cute printed travel pouch so you can take it anywhere, hygienically.


A Tongue Cleaner With Micro-Pointed Bristles That Resembles A Toothbrush

Orabrush Tongue Cleaner, $14 (4 Pack), Amazon

It may look like a toothbrush, but this tongue cleaner is made with super-soft, micro-pointed bristles that are designed to strip your tongue of bacterial and residue. Use it once a day after you brush your teeth and be sure to replace it every three to four months (this order comes with a pack of four, so one should last you about a year). The Orabrush can be rinsed and stored like a toothbrush, but get this: It's also top rack dishwasher-safe, for those time you want to give it a really good clean.


A Basic, No-Frills Tongue Cleaner That Does The Job

The Tongue Cleaner, $7, Amazon

Sometimes the most effective tools are also the most basic. This tongue cleaner is sturdy, simple to use (and gentle enough), and does a number on tongue bacteria and dirt, according to reviewers. It's one of the original tongue cleaners on the market and, in the eyes of many reviewers, still the best.


A Copper Tongue Cleaner Used In Ayurvedic Practices

HeathAndYoga Copper Tongue Cleaners, $9 (12 Pieces), Amazon

Ayurvedic texts praise the effectiveness of copper tongue cleaners, which are said to have antimicrobial properties. These individual tongue cleaners are easy, safe to use, and lack sharp edges and contours, making them an ideal choice for older children and teens. These are incredibly durable, dishwasher-safe, and a solid investment — they even come with a lifetime warranty.


An Electronic Tongue Cleaner That Delivers 31,000 Brush Strokes Per Minute

Philips Sonicare Tongue Care Plus Base Kit, $13, Amazon

Prefer electric toothbrushes? Why stop there — this electric tongue cleaner delivers 31,000 brush strokes per minute and works together with the accompanying antibacterial tongue spray to banish odor-producing bacteria from your mouth. Even better: The cleaner is compatible with a Philips Sonicare snap-on toothbrush (which is, unfortunately, not included) — making this a 2-in-1 oral hygiene tool you need in your life.

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