Tongue scraping to make your tongue look better

woman-with-tongue-scraper-blank- shows Benefits of Tongue scrapping to make your tongue look better

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 18, 2024

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 18, 2024

You brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly, but what about one of the other most important parts of your mouth? Your tongue is often overlooked when it comes to good oral hygiene. You must be wondering why bother about the looks of your tongue? And how can tongue scraping benefit to improve the appearance of your tongue?

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but when it comes to your health, a look inside your mouth can offer some pretty valuable insight too. That’s because your tongue can serve as an important indicator of issues with your overall well-being — including nutritional deficiencies and digestive problems — especially if it looks anything other than pink and healthy.

The tongue is a major part of your mouth and is covered with taste buds. The tongue is also the first point of contact between food and the mouth. Your tongue is actually very useful! It helps you taste, swallow, speak, and chew. It’s time to learn more about this organ and why tongue scraping should be an important part of your oral health routine.

Different looks of your tongue

Different looks of your tongue

You must have noticed or not, people do have different types of tongues. Not everyone has the same type of tongue though the shape is the same. They do differ in colorations and textures, including a white-coated tongue, black hairy tongue, and a thin tongue or a large tongue. A swollen tongue can also be a sign of infection or another underlying condition that needs to be addressed.

Sometimes stains from the food we eat, stain our tongue too. For example, having a mango. But some stains remain permanent which can hamper the look of your tongue.

Take a look at your tongue


Have you ever looked at your tongue in the mirror? I dare you to do it at this very moment. What do you see?

Maybe you see a pink, fleshy thing that does all sorts of important functions for you like allowing you to taste food, talk, and swallow without choking. Or maybe you see something else: a white coating on your tongue that kind of makes your mouth feel gross.

If you’re the latter type of person, it’s not uncommon. Studies have found that up to 95 percent of people have some sort of coating on their tongues.

But what is that white stuff anyway? And what can you do about it?

The answer may surprise you. Let’s take a closer look at the often-overlooked world of tongue scraping.

A white coating on your tongue


The white coating on the tongue is due to the food particles and bacteria. If your tongue is coated, it could be a sign that your health is not in a good condition. The bacteria in the mouth thrive on protein particles leftover from food. They start to multiply and release toxins. A buildup of plaque can also cause bad breath.

You should scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper to remove the toxic substances from your tongue and make yourself look much better than before.

When you scrape your tongue, you are actually removing the layer of toxins from your tongue so that you can taste better, breathe better and feel better. People with halitosis often have a white coating on their tongues. So when they use a tongue scraper, they get rid of the bad breath problem too.

People with a white coat are also prone to various bacterial and fungal infections. The tongue is a major breeding ground for bacteria, that harbors yeast and contributes to oral thrush (a fungal infection of the mouth) or candidiasis (yeast infection). Tongue ulcers are quite common it. This further hampers the look of your tongue.

The unhygienic tongue

The tongue has the maximum amount of plaque and bacteria residing in the tongue. Bacteria can also make their way down your throat, causing stomach upset and digestive problems. Again digestive problems can invite many other skin-related problems, face acne is the most common.

You’re gentle clean with a toothbrush and floss may be missing the real culprit for bad breath and gum disease: bacteria that hide on the surface of your tongue. Tongue scraping is an important part of your oral hygiene routine because it removes bacteria, fungi, food debris, and dead cells from the surface of your tongue. These germs can lead to bad breath, a coated tongue, and gum irritation. Bacteria can also make their way down your throat, causing stomach upset and digestive problems.

What happens if you don’t clean your tongue

Along with your toothbrush and floss, your tongue scraper is a valuable tool in the quest for better oral health.

But what happens if you don’t clean your tongue?

A thin film of bacteria builds upon the surface of your teeth, gums, and tongue during sleep. This is called plaque. When it’s not removed by daily brushing and cleaning between teeth, it can harden into tartar (calculus). Both can cause bad breath (halitosis) and promote gum disease. Brushing and flossing help remove plaque from visible surfaces of your teeth. But they can’t reach all the way to the back of your tongue. That’s where a tongue scraper comes in handy.

The bacteria that live on your tongue feed off of undigested food particles, releasing toxins and causing a build-up of plaque. This can lead to bad breath and oral issues.

Tongue scraping not only improves your oral hygiene but also helps improve digestive disorders, boosts immunity, and even reduces stress.

What is tongue scraping?

What is tongue scraping infographic - Tongue scraper, personalized oral hygiene instrument. Clean mouth home. Open female mouth with teeth and tongue and a scraper, tongue brush

Tongue scraping is exactly what it sounds like: The removal of unwanted material or waste from your tongue. Sitting on the top of your tongue are thousands of taste buds. They help you enjoy all kinds of food and drinks. But, if you don’t clean them properly, they can collect bacteria and even food particles that can affect the way things taste and the look of your tongue. That’s why it’s important to clean your tongue every day to improve tongue aesthetics and improve oral hygiene.

Most people think they brush their tongue when they brush their teeth. While this may be true for some, most people don’t brush their tongues well enough to clean away the material that can cause bad breath. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that “tongue cleaning” was superior to tooth brushing alone for reducing plaque acidity levels in the mouth.

What are tongue scrapers?

types of tongue scrapers

The tongue has tiny bumps (papillae) on its surface, which can trap bacteria and food particles, causing bad breath. Tongue scrapers are tools designed to remove this debris from the surface of your tongue. They’re made of plastic or metal and have a handle on one end with a curved edge on the other.

This device is used to gently scrape debris from the top surface of your tongue. Some people also use toothbrushes for this purpose, but they can be too harsh for your tongue, even if you use soft bristles. It is recommended that you use a clean scraper every day for two to three weeks to see a significant difference in your oral hygiene.

There are many types of tongue scrapers available in the market. You can choose the one that you are more comfortable using. Surveys and studies also find out using a u-shaped tongue cleaner is more efficient in comparison to using the backside of the toothbrush to have good tongue hygiene.

Benefits of tongue scraping

Benefits of tongue scraping - keeps tongue clean

Good tongue hygiene paves way for good overall health!

Tongue scraping is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that has been taught in India for thousands of years and has many oral as well as other health-related benefits.

  • Improved appearance: Many people who begin scraping their tongues notice that their tongues start to look pinker and cleaner.
  • Bad breath: The primary benefit of tongue scraping, people experience from tongue scraping is an 80% reduction in bad breath.
  • Improved taste sensation: People who scrape their tongues may also experience better-tasting food, as the back of the tongue is home to many taste buds.
  • Improved oral hygiene: It can improve your oral health by getting rid of bacteria, toxins, and dead cells on your tongue that could otherwise be reabsorbed into the body.
  • Natural Body detox: Tongue cleaning or tongue scraping is one of the most natural ways to cleanse and detox our bodies. When we are healthy our tongue will be pinkish in color, if there’s some extraneous foreign matter on your tongue it will look different than normal.
  • Improved digestion: One of the other health-related benefits of tongue scraping is improved digestion. Ayurvedic studies prove people suffering from various stomach-related infections and hyperacidity find improvement in their digestion. Cleaning your tongue also improves digestion. Good digestion also helps keep gut-related skin problems (acne) at bay.
  • Tongue cleaning not only improves oral health but also improves overall health and boosts immunity.

Tongue scraping makes your tongue look better

Regular tongue scraping is to be done every time you brush your teeth. By removing debris and bacteria from the surface of your tongue, you can also remove odor-causing bacteria that cause halitosis (bad breath). Tongue scraping can reduce up to 80% of the bacteria on your tongue that causes bad breath.

By removing grease and mucus and stimulating blood flow to the area, tongue scraping can help improve your sense of taste by allowing flavor molecules to disperse evenly across your lips, cheeks and palate. Getting rid of the white-yellowish coating on your tongue can make it look pink and healthy.

Tongue scraping is a simple and effective way to improve the appearance of your tongue. When you scrape your tongue, you remove the layer of bacteria, fungi, dead cells and food debris that coat the surface of your tongue.

If you want to make your tongue look better or freshen up your breath, try using a tongue scraper each morning.


  • Tongue scraping is as important as brushing your teeth to have good oral hygiene.
  • Failing to clean your tongue can cause a thick white coat of bacteria to accumulate on the surface of the tongue.
  • Whitecoat on the tongue can hamper the look of the tongue and make it look yellow, white to brown in colour.
  • Tongue scraping benefits to improve the appearance of your tongue and make it look pink and healthy.
  • Other benefits of scraping your tongue are improved taste sensation, improved digestion, and also a significant reduction in bad breath.
  • Regular tongue scraping can avoid permanent stains on your tongue.

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Author Bio: Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.

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