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Tongue scrapers, circa 1850

Tongue scrapers, circa 1850

C017/8376

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Two ivory and tortoiseshell tongue scrapers. These were handcrafted personal hygiene instruments, specially designed for the removal of debris which build up on the tongue. The concept of tongue scraping has endured, and similar devices made from metal or plastic are used in modern oral hygiene practices to remove the plaque, food debris and bacterial build ups responsible for halitosis (bad breath). These tools date from around 1850, England.

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