The invention is not new, but tongue cleaners are used much less frequently in Europe than in Asia – where Ayurvedic oral hygiene has been practiced for thousands of years. But what is behind it?
A tongue scraper is a small instrument used to clean the tongue. The purpose of the application is to reduce plaque on the tongue and thus improve oral hygiene. Because the fact is: Millions of tiny bacteria live on our tongues, which break down food residues and produce sulfur in the process – and you can smell it: Bad breath is the result of coatings on the tongue. If these are removed (or at least reduced) by the tongue cleaner, our breath should also smell better. But does that work? And how do you use a tongue cleaner correctly?
Overview: These tongue scrapers currently exist
In Asia, such as India, many people use metal tongue scrapers (silver or ). They are easy to clean and therefore particularly durable. In Europe, on the other hand, only tongue cleaners can be found in most drugstore chains : They are significantly cheaper to buy, but also have a shorter shelf life – because they are not as easy to clean as is the case with toothbrushes.
Regardless of the material, all tongue scrapers have one thing in common: their shape, which adapts perfectly to the anatomy of the tongue. Whether curved or U-shaped – all models are narrow and flat so that you can remove the coating (without triggering the gag reflex) especially in the back area of the tongue. Because the fact is: Less bacteria collect in the front area of the tongue, as it touches your palate when speaking and swallowing and thus remains “cleaner”.
Application: Use the tongue scraper correctly
Ideally, apply the twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening – always after brushing your teeth. Proceed as follows:
- Pull the cleaner from back to front – with light pressure – over your outstretched tongue.
- Wash off the collected coating on the tongue scraper under running water.
- Repeat the whole process at least three to four times in a row until there is no more coating on the tongue scraper.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards and let the (cleaned) tongue scraper air dry.
And another tip: Put a small amount of toothpaste with antimicrobial ingredients on the (or on your tongue) before you start cleaning.
Conclusion: How useful is a tongue scraper?
So far there are no scientific studies that prove that a tongue scraper (regardless of whether it is made of metal or plastic) can really reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. However, the plaque on the tongue is noticeably reduced according to a dentist who has examined the cleaning effect more closely. For this reason, buying a tongue cleaner can make sense to improve oral hygiene and avoid bad breath.
There is more information here.