How Important Is Tongue Scraping, Really?

If you ask us, few things are more tedious than dental care. While taking off your makeup and slathering on moisturizer (and maybe even a face mask) can feel luxurious and relaxing after a long day, flossing and brushing are more like chores. Just get them done as quickly as possible so you don’t end up with a mouth full of cavities at your next visit, right?

Recently, tongue scraping has made its way to the forefront of the dental care conversation, which isn’t exactly the most welcome news. On top of the recommendation to floss once a day and brush twice—for a full two minutes with an electric toothbrush, by the way—you apparently have to spend another minute running a metal instrument up and down your tongue. But is tongue scraping a fad, or is it actually important? For anyone who’s ever wanted to cut down on their daily dental routine, here’s what you need to know. 

Yes, tongue scraping is just as important for overall oral health as flossing and brushing.

While popping a stick of sugar-free gum might temporarily improve your breath, the main way to prevent halitosis (the “official” word for bad breath) long-term is to tongue scrape. “70% of bad breath comes from the back of the tongue,” says Irina Sinensky, a dentist at Dental House. “The tongue naturally has a pretty ‘groovy’ surface texture where food particles and bacteria can get trapped. Using a tongue scraper removes that slimy film and keeps your breath so fresh and so clean.”


By Leigh Weingus

Irina Sinensky DDS Dr. Irina Sinensky is the co-founder of Dental House.

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