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Silver tongue scraper, London, England, 1827

Tongue scrapers were used to remove the ‘furry’ deposits that can build up on the tongue after eating, drinking and smoking. This particular type was known as a ‘wishbone’ because of its shape. They symbolise a growing interest in oral healthcare and would be used either during a visit to the dentist or in the home. Scrapers could be made from a range of materials including ivory, tortoiseshell, gold and silver. Silver scrapers generally came into use after 1800.

Object number:

A119216

 

Glossary:

Glossary: hygiene

The science of health and how to maintain it. A condition or practice which promotes good health. The definition varies widely and differs across cultures.

Glossary: tongue scraper

An instrument to remove 'fur' off the tongue.