Dental Health

Tongue Cleaner: Types & Uses

Are you suffering from the issue of bad breath or halitosis? Are you tired of following oral hygiene measures but unable to get over the bad breath? This article on tongue cleaner is the solution for the maximum problems related to your oral cavity. Stay connected with the details of this article to know the answers to your questions.

Brushing teeth and flossing between teeth is a good practice for maintaining oral health. We usually ignore the cleaning of the tongue as we only consider the teeth the primary part. Cleaning your tongue is also as important as brushing your teeth. This article covers all aspects of tongue scraper, their types, usage, benefits, and side effects. Discover with us how to clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner or different other fundamental details relevant to tongue cleaner.

What are the types of tongue cleaners?

Tongue cleaners are available in different shapes according to the anatomy of the tongue. These tongue scrapers are optimized to pick and trap food debris and plaque from the tongue surfaces. These tongue cleaners are quite efficient to remove these sticky materials. There are different types of tongue cleaners. Moreover, these tongue cleaners also vary according to the material types. These tongue cleaners can be 0lastic or metallic straps. In addition, there are also some circular devices with handles and also consist of small brush bristles to remove debris from the tongue surface.

There are multiple types of tongue cleaners. Some of the most common tongue cleaners are as follows:

Copper tongue cleaner

These copper tongue scrapers are non-toxic and very hygienic to use. These tongue cleaners consist of safe rounded edges to prevent any injury. Copper tongue cleaners are most common in the Indian subcontinent.

Plastic tongue cleaner

Plastic tongue cleaners are made up of plastic and are BPA-free. These plastic tongue scrapers, come with a handle for convenience. In addition, bristles are also present on the surface of tongue cleaner to remove debris from the tongue. It is easy to use.

Tongue Cleaner Types

Why is there a need to use tongue cleaner?

Tongue cleaner is a beneficial tool for maintaining good oral hygiene. Besides just cleaning the tongue, there are several other benefits of using a tongue scraper. These are as follows:

Improve taste sensation

Different studies suggest that using tongue cleaner can enhance the taste sensation. It is recommended to use the tongue cleaner twice daily. In addition, it will help you to differentiate appropriately between different taste sensations.

Tongue appearance

Food deposits can also pile up on the tongue dorsum. It makes your tongue look white and coated. Daily tongue cleaning or scraping can help you to remove the food debris from the surface of your tongue. In addition, it also prevents the deposition of food debris on the tongue surface.

Bacteria removal

Studies suggest that using tongue cleaner for seven days reduces the overall growth of mutants streptococci and Lactobacilli in the mouth. These bacteria are notorious for dental decay and bad breath.

Plaque reduction

A study related to plaque production in children suggested that using a tongue scraper reduces plaque levels.

Treat halitosis

Halitosis or bad breath is mainly because of food debris or bacterial growth on the tongue surfaces. Brushing teeth and using tongue cleaner twice daily can reduce bad breath. Studies suggest that tongue cleaning is more effective than brushing in reducing the growth of odor-producing bacteria.

Boost overall health

Bacterial growth on the tongue can cause cavities in the teeth, gum diseases, and other diseases affecting your overall health. A tongue scraper, helps you deal with these bacteria, preventing you from all such conditions.

How to use a tongue cleaner?

Tongue brush tools are usually scrapers. You have to scrape your tongue properly with the help of tongue cleaner. You can use a tongue brush before or after the toothbrush depending on your choice. The tongue is quite sensitive, packed with a bundle of sensations. So, it is necessary to push the scraper gently without any force. Excessive pressure or force can hurt your tongue or may cause bleeding. There is a way to use tongue cleaner properly to remove the food debris and bacteria from the tongue surface.

  • Stand in front of the mirror. Open your mouth and make your tongue stick out.
  • Place the round part of the tongue scraper or cleaner at the back area of your tongue and move the scraper forward to the front of your tongue. Always go from the back to the front part.
  • If the tongue cleaner is making you feel gag, you can start from the middle area of your tongue for ease. You can gradually move to the posterior region of the tongue to use a tongue scraper.
  • Move the tongue brush multiple times around your tongue at different angles.
  • Repeat until you have cleaned your entire tongue with the tongue cleaner. For the same area, one to two scrapes are usually sufficient to clean the tongue.
  • Take a washcloth or tissue to remove debris from the tongue scraper after every use.
  • Remove the food debris from your tongue surface by properly rinsing it with water.
  • Wash or rinse the tongue cleaner every time after using it to keep it clean and bacteria-free.
  • The entire procedure usually takes less than 2 minutes. Repeat it according to your requirement.

Tongue cleaner for newborns

It is also recommended to clean the tongue of newborns to prevent bacterial growth and diseases of the mouth. To clean your tongue, wash your hands properly. Take a clean moist cloth or gauze and wrap it around your finger. Gently rub your finger on the surface of your tongue to remove any kind of debris. It is one of the best methods to clean the tongue of newborn babies.

Using a tongue brush for newborn babies does not have any kind of side effects as long as you rub it gently with the proper seating of your baby. It is not mandatory to use. It’s up to you either to use a tongue cleaner or moist gauze for your newborns.

Tongue cleaner for kids

Besides tooth brushing, it is also important for kids to clean their tongue surfaces. There are also toothbrushes available with scrapers. After brushing the teeth, use the scraper on the surface of the tongue to remove the debris from the tongue. If there are no such toothbrushes available, you may practice separate tooth cleaners for scraping the tongue surface. Once they have finished brushing, make your child practice a tongue brush to use on your tongue surface.

Try to use tongue cleaner quite gently to prevent any injury. Make this a regular habit after having any meal.

Tongue cleaner for adults

Using tongue scrapers must be a regular practice for adults to maintain good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene prevents you from multiple oral diseases. In addition, using a tongue brush helps you tackle bad breath, sticky bacteria, and food debris. Moreover, there are several other benefits associated with using a tongue cleaner. Make sure to use a tongue scraper after every meal to get rid of tongue-related disorders.

Is there any toothbrush with tongue cleaners?

Many people find it comfortable to use such toothbrushes with a tongue brush. Therefore, different brands introduced such toothbrushes that are paired with tongue scrapers on the opposite side of the bristles. These types of tongue cleaners are easy to use because of the proper handle to grab. You can apply proper gentle pressure with these tongue cleaners. The only drawback is that toothbrushes are of smaller dimensions. So it takes time to completely scrap the tongue surfaces. Otherwise, these kinds of toothbrushes with tongue cleaners are more convenient to use.

Is there any side effect with the usage of tongue cleaner?

Tongue cleaners provide a variety of benefits. But the most common side effect associated with a tongue cleaner is the stimulation of the gag reflex. The gag reflex can make you feel like vomiting while using the tongue scraper. To avoid a gag reflex, try not to place the scraper too far into the throat. When you do tongue cleaning for the first time, try to place the tongue brush in the middle part and move to the front part. It will make you feel more comfortable. When you get habitual, you can gradually start using a tongue cleaner from the back of your tongue.

Besides this, a tongue brush can also cut the surface of your tongue. To prevent this, try to use tongue cleaner quite gently. Don’t put pressure or use rough surfaces on the surface of your tongue. Must check the tongue scraper to check whether it is safe to use or not. Avoid gentle but firm pressure to scrape the food debris and plaque from the tongue surface.

What are the other ways to improve oral health?

Just cleaning the tongue is not sufficient to maintain oral hygiene. There are several other ways to boost oral health and get desired results. These are as follows:

  • Consider using fluoride-based toothpaste or mouthwash to provide a barrier against dental cavities.
  • Brush your teeth and gum twice with proper flossing between your teeth. In addition, use tongue cleaners to properly scrape bacteria from the tongue.
  • Make sure to brush for at least two minutes to properly remove plaque and debris from the teeth.
  • Floss at least once a day to remove debris between the teeth.
  • Drink water throughout the day to reduce dry mouth conditions.
  • Avoid using tobacco products as they cause staining and buildup on the tongue.

Is there any need to visit the dentist?

If you are suffering from a chronic dry mouth condition or have a hairy tongue, you must visit your dentist. A dry mouth can also cause bad breath. This type of condition can not be treated by only tongue cleaning. For this, you need to visit a dentist for proper treatment.


Tongue cleaning is recommended by dentists to get over many oral problems. Only brushing the teeth is not sufficient to maintain good oral hygiene. The oral cavity is the main tract of the digestive and respiratory systems. Therefore, it is important to properly care for the oral cavity. Tongue cleaning can help you to remove bacteria from the tongue surfaces. These bacteria can produce odor and may cause bad breath. Therefore, tongue cleaning plays a main role to get rid of bad odor.

Moreover, tongue cleaning also improves taste sensations to properly differentiate between different tastes. Tongue cleaners are used for the purpose of tongue cleaning. Tongue scrapers can be plastic or metallic. Moreover, you can use any type of tongue brush according to your choice. Use tongue cleaner quite gently but with firm pressure to properly scrape the tongue. It may induce a gag reflex. Start using from the middle part of the tongue to the front part. It will help you to deal with multiple problems associated with the oral cavity.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which type of tongue cleaner is better to use?

Tongue cleaners are made of plastic or any other different materials. It is up to your choice which type you want to use. Metallic tongue scrapers usually last longer than normal. Plastic tongue scrapers are cheaper but need to be replaced more frequently. It is all up to you.

How can I make my tongue look clean and pink?

It is recommended to properly clean your tongue regularly. Practice good habits like rinsing with mouthwash, having green tea, drinking plenty of water, and regularly monitoring the color of your tongue. These changes take time to happen. It may take some time to reverse back to the original color of your tongue.

How can I do deep cleaning of my tongue at home?

Cleaning the tongue is important to get rid of multiple diseases. For deep cleaning, you can use your toothbrush to clean your tongue. Position your toothbrush at the back part of the tongue. Move the toothbrush forward and backward over the tongue. Spit out saliva while rinsing. It will make your tongue clean. After rinsing, wash your toothbrush properly.

Dr. Rahul Kushwaha

Rahul Kumar Kushwaha, MBBS, is an intern doctor at a prestigious college in Bangladesh, North East Medical College, situated in South SurmaPamila, on the outskirts of Sylhet, Bangladesh. He is one of the team members and Founder of WOMS and has been working since the beginning of WOMS. Similarly, he is also the founder of the pregnancy journey app and the auscultation world app.

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