Tongue scraping before or after brushing?

Tongue scraping is a simple and effective way to improve your oral hygiene and maintain a healthy mouth. When done correctly, it can provide numerous benefits, including fresher breath and better digestion. By choosing the right tool and using the proper technique, you can make tongue scraping a part of your daily routine and enjoy the benefits it provides. 

But does it make a difference whether you scrape your tongue before or after brushing?

tongue scraping after brushing

How to Scrape Your Tongue

When it comes to cleaning your tongue, you can choose to either brush it or scrape it. Each of these methods requires you to use the right tongue cleaning tool and technique, and do it at the right frequency to ensure optimal results.

Step 1: Purchase a good scraper

There are many different types of tongue scrapers that are readily available in stores and online. They are usually made of metal or plastic, though other materials can also be used. Metal or stainless steel scrapers are durable and long-lasting, while plastic scrapers are more flexible and lightweight. Scrapers also come in different shapes, so you’ll have to choose one that is best suited for the shape of your tongue. Another key consideration when purchasing a scraper is comfort. So choose one that is easy to grip, doesn’t cause irritation or discomfort, and fits your needs and budget.

Step 2: Use the right tongue scraping technique

  • Stand in front of a mirror and stick out your tongue.
  • Place the scraper at the back of your tongue and gently scrape forward using light pressure towards the tip.
  • Rinse the scraper after each scrape using warm water.
  • Repeat this process several times until you have scraped your entire tongue – top and bottom
  • Rinse your mouth with water to remove any residue.
  • Rinse the scraper off when you’ve finished.

Step 3: Frequency of Scraping

It is recommended to scrape your tongue at least once a day, ideally in the morning. But if you have any oral health issues, such as bad breath or a coated tongue, you may need to scrape more frequently. If you have an oral problem, such as bad breath, you should consult with your dentist or physician for personalized advice on the frequency of scraping that is right for you.

Step 4: Manage tongue scraping side effects

You should be careful when scraping to avoid applying too much pressure, as it may cause bleeding. These tools have a curved edge that may cause small cuts and bruises if pressed too hard on your tongue. Also avoid defective scrapers with uneven edges as they may also cause injuries, or choose plastic over metal scrapers.

Another common side effect of tongue scraping is gagging, which happens when you position the scraper too far back, such that it stimulates your gag reflex. This can be avoided by not forcing the scraper too far back, and using a wider and heavy scraper.

The third side effect may arise when you damage the papillae covering your tongue. Scraping too hard may damage these taste buds. But you can avoid this by being gentle and reducing the pressure whenever you feel any pain or discomfort, or bleeding.

Scrape tongue before or after brushing?

The choice of whether to scrape before or after brushing is largely a personal preference. Both methods have benefits and drawbacks, and what works best for one person may not work best for another. It is recommended to try both methods and see which one works best for you. Regardless of when you choose to scrape your tongue, what really matters is that you make it a regular part of your oral hygiene routine to enjoy its many benefits.

Scraping before brushing teeth

Some people prefer to scrape their tongues before brushing as they feel it is more effective at removing debris. It can help to loosen and remove any built-up bacteria and debris, which will improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth. It can also help to freshen your breath, as a clean tongue can reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

Scraping after brushing teeth

Most people who scrape their tongues after brushing prefer this approach because they feel that it allows more time for toothpaste to be in contact with the tongue to kill bacteria, plus it is more effective at removing residual toothpaste and bacteria once you’re done cleaning your mouth, in addition to making your breath fresher and improving the overall cleanliness of your mouth.


Scraping your tongue before brushing has the benefit of removing bacteria and debris before brushing, making brushing more effective. However, it may also cause toothpaste to be scraped off too soon, reducing its effectiveness in killing bacteria and improving your breath. On the other hand, scraping your tongue after brushing has the benefit of removing residual toothpaste and bacteria once the entire mouth has been cleaned, though there is the risk of some bacteria and debris from the tongue getting on the clean teeth before scraping.

Final thoughts

As discussed above, tongue scraping is a simple and effective way to improve your oral hygiene and maintain a healthy mouth. Whether you choose to scrape your tongue before or after brushing, it is important to make it a regular part of your routine. Both methods have benefits and drawbacks, and what works best for one person may not work best for another. So ultimately, it is a matter of preference. However, regardless of when you scrape, it is a useful tool for removing bacteria, freshening your breath, and improving your overall oral health.


  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top