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Dentists say tongue scrapers can freshen your breath — this set is down to just $7

Experts say a tongue scraper can make a huge difference in your oral hygiene and you don't have to break the bank to get one.

You already know that you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly — and odds are high that you do your best to have good oral hygiene. But the concept of tongue scraping has been floating around for a few years, with fans swearing it does everything from improving your breath to boosting your oral health (more on that in a sec). Interested in giving tongue scraping a go? Right now, you can score a four-pack of the Oralganix 2-in-1 Tongue Cleaner on Amazon for just $7.

This tongue scraper-brush combo is specially designed to help take out bacteria and debris that can raise your risk of bad breath. You'll get four in one pack; that'll be good for about a year. 

$9 at Amazon

Why is it a good deal?

At $7, this is the cheapest this tongue cleaning set has been — ever. And when you break it down by the price of each, you're looking at a mere $1.75 per tongue cleaner.

Why do I need this?

The idea of tongue scraping seems kind of random, but dentists swear there's something to this. "Think of the tongue as a sponge," Mark Swierczewski, a cosmetic dentist at Happy Smiles at Columbia in Columbia, Pa., tells Yahoo Life. "You have tastebuds, and bacteria get into those crevices between your tastebuds. It's a reservoir for periodontal disease because you're not getting all of the bacteria out of your mouth when you just brush."

"A tongue scraper can have a positive impact on one's hygiene, as it is taking it to another level, ensuring a healthy oral cavity," Michael Kosdon, a cosmetic dentist at Smiles of NYC, tells Yahoo Life. Sara Larbi, dentist and owner of the Dentist Lounge in Santa Monica, Calif., agrees. "Opting for a tongue scraper can make a significant difference in cleanliness," she tells Yahoo Life. "Not only is it more effective than a toothbrush for cleaning the tongue but it also ensures a more thorough cleaning."

Swierczewski recommends brushing your teeth normally and then using a mouthwash called Peroxyl from Colgate. "Rinse with this —it's going to make it easier to get access to the bacteria when you're doing the tongue scraper," he says.

Then, use the scraper all over your tongue. "I recommend doing it once a day," Swierczewski says. He suggests scraping in the back and the front too. Swierczewski notes that some people can get a gag reflex when they clean in the back and suggests humming while you scrape. "This actually impedes the gag reflex," he says.

The Oralganix 2-in-1 Tongue Cleaner has fine bristles on one side and a gentle scraper on the other to give you options. (The bristles can help get into the spots that the scraper can't.) Worth noting: Some tongue scrapers out there are metal, and that can be pretty intense on your tongue — not the Oralganix. Each tool also has a nonslip, ergonomic handle to make it easy to hold while you get to work.

By the way: Swierczewski says that tongue scraping is "something that everybody should be doing."

"Flossing and brushing is important, but getting that reservoir of bacteria out is just as important," he says. "It helps with your breath and, honestly, I think it helps food taste better because you're getting that buildup out." Just a heads up, though: Kosdon recommends doing this just once a day. "Brushing the tongue too frequently can lead to irritation and sensitivity," he says.

Woman using tongue scraper
Don't just take it from us; these have received the Good Mouthkeeping seal of approval. (Amazon)

What reviewers say:

Fans swear this scraper four-pack is great for tongue cleanings. "I’m a dental hygienist and I love these brushes for the tongue," shared a fan. "Tongues are like a carpet and hold in bacteria and food particles that can cause bad breath and are unhealthy. I actually like these short bristles for better cleansing. Go easy at first if you aren’t used to scraping or brushing the tongue. As it gets healthier, you can brush a little more vigorously, but it doesn’t take too much to clean well."

A fellow happy shopper called these the "best tongue scrapers" on the market. "I used to use a metal tongue scraper, then I stumbled upon these," they said. "I love that you can brush your tongue and then use the scraper on the back for extra cleanliness."

Another five-star reviewer added that her mouth felt refreshed just 15 seconds after using it. She now takes one everywhere she goes. "I have one at my work desk, car, home, travel. I love it," the shopper wrote.

This final user bestowed five stars on the Oralganix but also mouthed off to its manufacturer: "It's great to use, love the fun colors, [but] the pricing could be a lot cheaper. I wish you would make it smaller when traveling."

Brush your tongue with one side, then flip it over for a more intense "scrape." (Don't worry: It's made with food-grade material that won't irritate your tongue.)

$9 at Amazon

To get the most out of your scraper, consider pre-rinsing with this top-rated product from Colgate, which currently has over 23,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.

Mark Swierczewski, DDS, says, "Rinse with this —it's going to make it easier to get access to the bacteria when you're doing the tongue scraper." 

$10 at Amazon

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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