Tongue Scraping Is the Secretly Relaxing Ritual You're Gonna Love

woman sticking out her tongue

You floss. You brush your teeth. You even go so far as to brush your tongue. And that's a pretty solid routine, right? Sort of. There's actually a better way to keep your mouth in tip-top shape: tongue scraping. Here's what you need to know (including that it's weirdly satisfying).

What’s the point? The overarching purpose of tongue scraping is to more effectively remove built-up bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Because bad breath often starts there, tongue scraping is typically prescribed by dentists as a treatment for halitosis. According to a study done at the University of Sao Paolo, a tongue scraper was more effective at getting rid of this bacteria than a toothbrush. And proponents also say that tongue scraping keeps your taste buds clear, possibly elevating your palate.

How do you do it? First, buy one of these little guys. We got ours on Amazon from the brand Spa Elevation for just $9. Before brushing your teeth in the morning, run the scraper from the back of your tongue to the front five to seven times. Apply enough pressure to feel like you’re being effective, but not so much that it’s in any way painful. When you’re done, brush and floss per usual, then rinse off the scraper off and store it until the next time you use it.

Does it actually work? In many ways, yes. While we can’t speak to the effect it’s had on our breath (you’d have to ask our friends and family), it makes our mouth feel infinitely cleaner than it did before. And who knew that the repetition of scraping and seeing immediate results could somehow be so cathartic?

Don’t knock it ’til you try scrape it. 

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sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...