Oral hygiene doesn’t have to stop with a good toothbrush. Yes, the classic bristled instrument is undoubtedly an essential for keeping your enamel in check, but teeth aren’t your mouth’s only occupants. The tongue––a surprisingly powerful muscle crucial to speech, digestion and taste perception––needs some TLC, too. And if you’re someone who struggles with bad breath, all the more so.
A tongue cleaner could be the answer. Specialized tools, tongue cleaners are designed to scrape the textured surface of the tongue––those little bumps are called papillae––in order to remove excess odor-causing bacteria and other debris. A great dedicated cleaner can pick up where your normal brushing leaves off by sloughing away bad bacteria more effectively.
Even if you already brush three times a day and floss with the best of them, adding a tongue cleaner will take your routine to the next level. Here are our top four picks available on Amazon.
1. Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner
The cheekily named Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner is simple, but that’s the point. It’s designed for a specific purpose and does its job well. Made from easy-to-clean stainless steel, its cleaning edge is adjustable to suit people with mouths of varying dimensions. Colorful grippy handles make it easy to use and direct the cleaning action.
2. Basic Concepts Tongue Scraper
Tongue scrapers don’t come much simpler than this model from Basic Concepts. With a wide head and a unibody design, simply run it over your tongue after you’ve finished brushing your teeth to help fight bad breath. Even better, this model, which comes as a pair, is made from stainless steel. This means it’ll last longer than its plastic counterparts and is extra easy to clean. Simply leave it soaking overnight in a lemon water solution and it’s good to go.
3. Orabrush Tongue Scraper
Orabrush’s Tongue Scraper is a dual-action wonder that has a traditional scraping tool on the end with the addition of soft bristles modeled after a surgeon’s scrub brush. Those tiny bristles meaningfully ramp up its cleaning power, allowing users to get into otherwise unreachable spots. Scrub with the bristle first to loosen up bacteria clusters, and then employ the scraper to remove them entirely.
4. MasterMedi Tongue Cleaner
Designed with an arced silhouette for maximum reach, MasterMedi’s Tongue Cleaner is made from durable surgical-grade stainless steel. Its bacteria-resistant material makes it among the most hygienic of our picks, and it doesn’t look half bad either. This twin set comes with a duo of cleaners and matching travel cases, so one is always ready to go in your duffel bag or suitcase.