An Abrasive Tongue Cleaner For Your Dog! Don’t You Just Want One?

Sure, I know. Doggy bad breath is a big problem. But you must be pretty desperate to seriously consider this ‘solution':

“The bristles on the Orapup are made of ultra-soft material that is designed to clean into the crevices of the tongue and loosen bacteria. According to Dr. Wagstaff, he “borrowed the bristle design from the surgeon’s scrub brush, the same special bristles surgeons use to clean bacteria from their hands before they cut you open.”

In between the bristles are four scrapers. These collect the bacteria the brushes remove. They’re designed to be obscure enough to not annoy the K9 and powerful enough to pull away the dirt and grime from the dog’s mouth.”

My first reaction to the first commercial dog tongue-scraper on the market is ‘Is this for real?’ My second reaction is, ‘He must be joking’.

The article above goes in detail about how the designer developed the product’s handle. I sort-of wish he would have spent less time on the handle and concentrated more on the scraping part. I can tell you right now that if you think you can get a dog to scrape his tongue against this thing you are deluding yourself. In any rate, the main source of bacteria in the dog’s mouth is the teeth, not the tongue. So you are better off concentrating on tooth brushing instead.

Dr Wagstaff, the inventor of the product is trying to raise capital for mass production. I wish him all the luck but i wouldn’t be investing.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

41 comments

  1. Beth Davenport

    How do I get one for my dogs? What price?

    • The link in my article has contact details.

    • Stephanie Manley

      I bought this product for my small dog she was 5 years old. She had bad breath but it didn’t look like much tarter, after one month of trying this product using it 1 or 2 times a week her teeth started to get loose then some started to fall out. Took her to the vet to under go treatment and she died the next day. Would never use this product again. Stephanie Manley

  2. Appreciate your comments. I noticed when I watched the guys commercial for his pup brush, whatever it’s called, that he does say most bad breath ‘in humans’ comes from the tongue. Ergo, we should scrape our tongue, but that’s not necessarily true for dogs. Any tips on how to get your dog to ‘let you brush the teeth’?

  3. Sue Brown

    I watched the commercial and believe he said that the stuff you put on the cleaner brush contains a anti-plaque material. I know that they sell that liquid to put on your dog’s teeth. I used it on my dog and he hated the taste, but it did remove the plaque from his teeth. If I could get him to lick it, hopefully some of it would get on his teeth and begin working. Worth a shot anyway. I’m going to try it.

    • Dear Sue,
      If a ‘gel’ could remove the plaque from teeth we would all be ‘gelling’ our teeth and not brushing them, wouldn’t we? The fact is – plaque forms on teeth and over times it becomes as hard as a rock. The only way to remove it is with an abrasive tool – like a toothbrush. Your tongue on the other hand, doesn’t need a toothbrush. Neither does your dog’s tongue.

  4. kathleen

    I think it’s a great idea. I plan on getting one!

  5. Funnee Munkee

    Gee, I just love it when someone claims to be an expert on a product….he hasn’t even tried!? Brushing your dogs teeth is difficult at best…and professional cleanings are seriously expensive… 2-3 times as much as humans! So, any product to assist in cleaning your dogs mouth is worth a try…if it doesn’t work…return it. BFD! I don’t know what problem you have with the inventor but it’s obvious you’re taking his invention as a personal attack. Implying that the dog is in some sort of danger or the product is harmful?? = “special bristles surgeons use to clean bacteria from their hands before they cut you open.”…wow, you are desperate to stop this product. Otherwise, why would you work so hard to dis-prove it? I guess it is not to your best interest to have a public that can clean it’s own dogs teeth? You would lose thousands$$$…I checked out a few of your little blogs…boy are you in love with yourself…throwing your “opinions” around like facts…with no real basis…SHADY!

    • Dear ‘Funny Munkee’,
      How nice to see a bit of robust debate on my blog. Please keep it coming.

      The first point I want to make is that the product we are all discussing doesn’t actually claim to clean your dog’s teeth. Not at all! It’s a tongue cleaner, right? It cleans the tongue. So if your dog’s teeth need cleaning – you might need to look for a plan B. Like, I don’t know, a toothbrush or something! Because toothbrushes brush teeth, not tongues. I hope I am making myself clear.

      Secondly, I would love the product to come with a ‘try it before you buy it’ kind of offer. Unfortunately it doesn’t. So if after buying it you find it doesn’t do anything (hypothetically speaking) no one will give you your money back.

      On your last point – yes, I can be quite Shady. Some client even call me ‘Dr Slim Shady’. Oh, wait – there is already copyright on that.

      • Amanda

        very well said, I was interested in purchasing this product until i say how expensive it is and no money back guarantee.. Seems like a waist of money when i can buy a tooth brush and a bottle of water and do the same thing..

  6. pat

    If orapup does not rid bad breath in dog’s and I brush my sog’s teeth daily, could it be cause solely by her food (fish is low on list) real chicken first; of course always a possibility of a health issue. She is a doxie and 3.5 years old. The bad breath is not at all like very yuckie puppy breath.

    • Dear Pat,
      An oral health issue would indeed be on the list. One important point is the way you brush your dog’s teeth. In my experience of the people that try, very few get tooth brushing right. The problem areas are the molars at the very back of the dog’s mouth. These are the hardest to get to. There is little benefit in brushing the easy-to-get-to front teeth. Doing the molars right takes a dedicated owner and obedient dog. You may want to visit the Vet to get a dental exam done. Many Vets would do those for free.

  7. Joe

    I just saw this on a YouTube vid and was curious as to what this BS was. So I searched “Orapup reviews” and found this site. Then I noticed that no one has actually reviewed this product, so I go to the Orapup website and they have already taken PREORDERS for 25,000+. Its so amazing how gullible people can be. And yes Dr., just like in humans, bacteria forms in between the teeth and gums. I have found that the mouthwash and the visit to the vet for a cleaning every few years is best.

    • Thank you Joe.

      It’s not that the product is bad. What I am concerned about is that owners will use Orapup as a cheap replacement for fixing their dogs’ dental problems, which Orapap can not and doesn’t claim to do.

  8. cheryl

    i agree with Joe, they are only taking pre-orders. the advertising claims the product will be ready in February but as of the 19th they have not delivered.
    I also called amazon (pay thru amazon) they do not carry the product and have no idea what it is. But they do confirm the payment thru them is legit. unfortunately, they do not back up the product or company, ie: if you want your money back its not their problem you will have to rely on orapup.
    I think i’ll wait for the product to actually come out of manufacturing (btw, not sold in the us) and read some more reviews. Dr. Chelom makes a valid point; but of course , we are all looking for an easier and cheaper solution to dental cleaning surgically or to wrestle with our pets to reach those molars!!

  9. RL

    I’m not by any means an expert on dog dental hygene, but I saw the commercial and was curious about the product. I wanted to try it, not as a replacement to a day to day cleaning but as an addition to my dogs dental cleaning. From this blog there has been no one saying that they tried it, just that they are going too.

    As for “Funnee Munkee” quoting the Dr. for saying, “special bristles surgeons use to clean bacteria from their hands before they cut you open.”…wow, you are desperate to stop this product.” I thought that was a little graphic but actually that is a statement that is said as part of the advertisement I saw.

    So instead of complaining about someone’s opinion that hasen’t tried it (BTW, you mention nothing about trying it yourself), So, try buying it and posting a true review of a product that you have actually tried. Unless you work for the company? If that’s the case your opinion is void and not necessary. After all isn’t this blog supposed to be about real people reviewing the product?

    • Dear RL,
      You make a very good point. Indeed, a product review should contain the verdict of weather or not the product does the job it is suppose to do. Naturally, I would love to include such verdict in my review. There is only one problem – for the life of me, I don’t know and don’t understand what this product is actually suppose to do, other then make you – the dog owner feel like you are doing something about your dog’s dental problem.

      I mentioned this fact before and I will do it again – the amount of bacteria on the dog’s tongue is minuscule compared to the amount of bacteria on the dog’s teeth. So you can scrub your dog’s tongue till it shines and not improve his (her) dental health by one inch.
      So to answer your question – I would love to give you a thumbs-up/down verdict but first, you tell me what therapeutic benefit I am suppose to measure.
      And no, I don’t work for the company. Which is a shame because I bet I could make a fortune if I did. Then again, I don’t think they would hire someone who tells their clients not to buy the product.

  10. Jeff Popkin

    ORAPUP REVIEW:

    As the owner of the Orabrush product and a long time critic of ineffective or even damaging tongue scrapers, I am very pleased. When I scrape my tongue with it, white and sometimes yellow gunk comes off and my tongue and mouth feel much cleaner.

    Based on my experience with Orabrush, the Orapup seemed a no brainer. I WAS WRONG TO MAKE THAT ASSUMPTION.

    The gel that I put on the Orapup is very effective. At first Daisy (the dog) was reluctant, but after she got a taste on her tongue, she would lick for ages.

    The problem: THERE IS NOT WHITE OR YELLOW GUNK COMING OFF DAISY’S TONGUE.

    It seems that (this) dog’s tongue is much cleaner than mine!

    I bought a second one that I am going to give to my brother’s dog that likes to eat it own fecal matter. At this point, in my opinion, the Orapup is more of a gag gift than real canine hygiene tool.

    Seems Dr Vadim Chelom was onto something when he said he would not invest.

    The dog enjoys the Orapup with the tasty gel on it, so while it may not clean tongues,the dog and I have had some quality time together with it. Plus, the dog is overweight. Maybe the Orapup can serve as a virtually calcorie free snack time for begging dogs?

  11. Diane

    I purchased ORAPUP for my dogs. It works. I was pleasantly surprised that they actually love it and want to use it. In fact, they couldn’t get enough of it! It cleans up easily and the best part is that they do now both have fresh breath. Worth every penny.

  12. Reagan

    How long will the orapup keep your dogs mouth clean?

    • Orapup is designed to keep your dog’s tongue clean. In my view a dog’s tongue is clean anyway. But if it’s not, then I suppose till your dog eats some rotten, dead thing or snacks on some poo. Which in my dogs’ case is about 5 minutes :)

  13. Diane Nicoloff

    Okay, I have just ordered this and I want to try it for this reason: I have a Doxie and a Doxie mix that both like to lick their butts (usually at night while sitting next to me, while I am trying to relax and watch tv, just saying) and their breath is horrendous. They get their anal glands expressed and they still lick, so I think it might be just to gross me out, because they like to try to lick me after this and I think they both like the reaction they get from me, I am sure it is quite comical to them!!! So I am thinking the smell is on their tongue not their teeth and if this product will clean that smell off their tongue, well I am willing to try it. Will let you know.

  14. Diane N, I’m still waiting for your review ? I would never buy this as I actually brush all of my 5 dogs teeth, and take them once a year to get knocked out and teeth cleaned by the vet ( only $120ea) so not to bad.. on the flip side, I take it one step further, for the past 12 yrs I also have taken a dental scraper and scrape my dog Kia’s teeth ( along with the other dogs that I’ve had less) and the vet is happy as I only take them in about once every 3-5yrs. ( Pancho every 2) Flaka none yet, and Nina not once yet, and Lily not once yet.. so it’s interesting that each dog has different needs and they all eat the same organice food.. except Kia being 12yrs gets only canned as she need low fat low protein food.. My first tip that this is a scam product is that being in the pet business I have yet to see one at a pet store, or seen any handed out to trend setters.. ( that’s how we do it in the sports business). We used to have Shaun White on the flow program since he was so good, it was great to get feedback and exposure from an up and coming rider..

    So Diane N, whats the story with your two wieners ?

    Rene

    • Dear Rene,
      I don’t know if I like the idea of scraping your dog’s teeth with any kind of sharp implement. This could remove enamel and could possibly damage the teeth (keep in mind – enamel does not regenerate). A Veterinarian would use an ultrasonic dental scaler – a device which uses high frequency oscillations to break down the plaque.

  15. Teana

    Wow I was searching for a review site to post my experience about this product and found this site. This is just my experience so be gentle. I have used TropiClean fresh breath and it was a God send. My husband and I were having such a hard time with all our dogs and their teeth. We have a boxer who will chew harder treats and that helped with the plaque but not enough. He would let me wrestle the tooth brush in his mouth but he won the war. As far as our two Maltese… well they saw the tooth brush and would disappear and their teeth would get so bad and I know it cannot be healthy to have so much anesthesia. So I when searching for an alternative. The TropiClean is fantastic I don’t know how it works but it did. Within a month their teeth were almost plaque and tarter free but with the TropiClean you have to put the gel along the gum line and they can’t have any food or drink for one hour. They walk around licking their teeth giving me dirty looks because we just had an episode of WWE and they can’t dink but it says it needs an hour for the enzymes to work. By the way this came recommended to me by our vet.
    Well I was sitting in my dentist office and saw the Orapup brush. I asked him about it and apparently this gel has many of the same properties. We started using this a month ago I haven’t noticed any uptake in plaque and now if they see the brush or even the bottle we see a happy dance. Now we have to keep it in the bathroom medicine cabinet and the bathroom door locked. They sit outside the door knocking, singing a little song and having to take turns. Also if they make their way into the bathroom with us they sit like little angels begging for their treat and I don’t have to feel so horrible and it is so much nicer knowing my dogs don’t have to be afraid me and of what my husband and I used to call ” WWE toothbrush hour”.
    Both products are great for their breath I truly hope the Orapup continues to keep away the plaque and really forget about the pups (even though their my angels) it has improved my quality of life, but don’t forget with either product you have to do it everyday. Good luck to all of you and please keep in mind this is just my experience.

    • Dear Teana,
      Thank you for your very informative comment. Personally I wouldn’t jump to conclusions after one month of usage – it takes longer for the plaque to form. It would be interesting to see what the plaque situation is in, say 6 months. I do think that using dental gel on your dog’s teeth will help dental hygiene. But it will not replace a comprehensive dental health program. If it did, we would all be using it instead of brushing our teeth :) Gel aside, I don’t think the ‘tongue scraper’ will make any difference to your pet’s health.

  16. Jennifer

    How often do you need to use this on your dog.. i just ordered it, and i am excited to try this with my dog…..please send all the details…thanks :)

  17. PomMom

    Thank-you Dr. Chelom. That makes sense.

  18. MFisher

    I use it on both my dogs and it keeps their breath fresh. Brushing alone didn’t. And they love it so I’m a happy user. Plus I got a great deal on my first batch, in March, free if 3 friends also ordered it. I still have 1 1/2 bottles left so it lasts, too – we do it about once a week.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      I would also love to know if you feel that the amount if plaque (that hard, yellow stuff on your dogs’ teeth) decreased after usage.

      After all, a dog’s breath can smell like fresh flowers but it’s the plaque, not the bad breath which will make your dog sick.

  19. I just accidentally found the Orapup info on the Web and was very intrigued by it. I have done a lot of reading and looking around to see what else I could learn about it on the internet. My impression is this: You will not find this product in stores yet because this is a new entreprneurial venture. To their credit, they did get a whole lot of people to pre-order on faith and although it took a little longer than the developers anticiapted to get up and running, they did deliver on their product. Seems that that was around Feb/Mar. and so, for the present you can order online. They never claim that this product should take the place of toothbrushing, but should be a compliment. Bacteria in the mouth can lead to heart issues in people, which is why flossing is so strongly recommended along with brushing and regular dental cleanings. In addition, I have always been told that brushing your tongue should be part of your hygene to reduce the bacteria in the mouth which contribute to bad breath too. The vets OraPup talked to spoke of how comprehensive dental care for dogs has improved so much now and that dogs are living longer because of it. They also spoke of the bacteria issue and how a clean mouth leads to better internal organ health. (You can go to their web site and watch the videos of the DVM’s and vet techs, as well as testimonials of users.) Brushing a dog’s tongue, like in people, would just be another way of helping to reduce the bacteria in the mouth thereby fostering a healthier, longer life–and with fresher breath! If you think that a dog’s tongue is clean and bacteria-free, guess again! Bacteria cause odor. It happens in our mouths and in dogs. (Ever smell your dental floss after you’ve used it?!) OraPup sounds like a pretty painless way to help reduce bacteria, promote fresher breath, and hopefully a healthier dog. I’m going to give it a try. :)

  20. Eva

    I think everyone is missing the point about this product. I’ve only seen it advertised once but as I recall there was no mention of it being a plaque remover. This was strictly a breath freshener and not intended to replace vet dental visits. One has nothing to do with the other.

  21. tammy

    Hi, my husband just bought this product and we have tried it on our 9 year old sheltie. Now he does have tartar, he has always hated chewing hard things. Financially I just can’t clean his teeth every year,so we do every two. I brush his teeth about once a week and now use doggie toothpaste (with an enzyme) on the orapup brush. He likes it and it has helped keep the dog breath under control. The lickies is going to stay in the box. We had a really bad scare in the neighborhood with some kind of teeth cleaner at the local dog groomer. It made them really sick so I am leery. But the brush? An excellent addition to our dental care regime.

  22. Potentially yes. Seek advice from your Veterinarian to check if it’s serious. This is one complication I have not considered before.

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