Oral hygiene: a history of tongue scraping and brushing

J Am Dent Assoc. 1978 Feb;96(2):215-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8177(16)30453-6.


Tongue scraping and brushing have been practiced for hundreds of years but are still little appreciated or used by the public. Throughout the centuries, tongue scrapers have been constructed of thin, flexible strips of wood, various meals, ivory, mother-of-pearl, whalebone, celluloid, tortoiseshell, and plastic. Recent scientific evidence has validated the need to practice habitual and thorough tongue brushing as part of daily home oral hygiene procedures.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Dental Devices, Home Care / history*
  • Europe
  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • India
  • Islam
  • Oral Hygiene*
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Tongue*
  • Tongue, Hairy / therapy
  • Toothbrushing