Illustration for article titled How To Clean Your Teeth When You Don't Have A ToothbrushPhoto: Fizkes (Shutterstock)

The travel products website Minimus reports this 18% of the travelers surveyed I admitted that they often forget to pack a toothbrush. (Glad to hear I’m not the only one). It’s worse if you arrive late at your destination, you don’t just come to a store to buy a replacement, and your hotel doesn’t offer it to guests. If you hate going to bed with the bacteria of the day on your teeth and gums, here are some ways to maintain oral hygiene without a toothbrush.

Use your finger

In a pinch, just use your finger – the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics says “brushing your teeth” with toothpaste and a finger is a sufficient way to occasionally remove plaque. Just put a pinch of toothpaste on your finger and rub it around all sides of your teeth and gums as if you actually had a toothbrush – although you may want to consider rinsing your mouth several times with water to close your mouth first clean and remove as much food particles as possible.

Mix floss and mouthwash

When you’ve forgotten your toothbrush but have access to it Floss and mouthwashYou are in good shape. Simply floss, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water, and then wash it out with a mouthwash to kill any remaining bacteria. (Yes, we recognize the chances that you forgot your toothbrush, but what is remembered is that flossing and mouthwash are very low.)

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Use a washcloth

A washcloth is my alternative toothbrush if I’ve forgotten mine. The rough texture rubs off more plaque than your finger could ever do on its own. This method can also be done with a paper towel. First, rinse your mouth out with water to remove as much food as possible. Then, Wrap the cloth or paper towel around your index finger and put toothpaste on the covered finger if you have it (though It’s worth it even if you don’t). Rub the washcloth around all parts of your teeth and gums. I have also been known to brush my tongue with a washcloth and scrub it as clean as possible. Rinse, then use mouthwash (if you have it).

Illustration for article titled How To Clean Your Teeth When You Don't Have A Toothbrush

Eat vegetables

Oddly enough, Grace & Leedy Dentistry and other dentists recommend eating crispy vegetables instead of a good brush. “Fibrous vegetables can act as a brush in their own way. As you eat them, biting can remove any food residue and clean your teeth, ”explains Grace & Leedy, noting that you could probably use a celery stalk as an alternative toothbrush. (Let’s imagine the scenario where you need to brush your teeth and have access to toothpaste and celery but not a toothbrush.)

Chewing gum (sugar free)

As with chewing vegetables, gum can be a great way to remove plaque when brushing isn’t an option. Chewing gum can remove any food particles in your teeth and make you salivate, which is the body’s natural disinfectant mouthwash. man Healthcare recommends staying away from candy and using sugar-free gum until you get a replacement toothbrush.

Pull oil

The Schaumburg Dental Studio in Illinois recommends a procedure called “Pull oil, “A brushless method where you put a teaspoon of oil in your mouth. “Oil pulling is supposed to remove toxins from the mouth,” says Schaumburg Dental Studio The science in this case is a little murky. Coconut and sesame oils are said to be most effective at removing toxins, but sunflower oil or olive oil could also work.