What To Do When You Can’t Brush

When you're at home, maintaining good oral hygiene practices is easy. However, if you're away from home or traveling, it's not always that easy. Sometimes luggage with oral hygiene tools gets lost, or finding an adequate supply of running water is impossible. In times like these, try these tips for keeping your teeth and gums healthy until you can get back to your normal hygiene habits.

Rinse Regularly

Rinsing your teeth with water or mouthwash can't remove plaque, but it can help to loosen bacteria and food debris. If you don't have anything you can use to care for your teeth available to you while you're away from home, make sure to at least rinse your teeth with water after every meal. You can swallow the water or spit it out, but make sure to thoroughly swish it through your mouth. Doing this after every meal can help to loosen food debris that helps speed up the development of plaque and fuels the growth of bacteria.

Brush With Your Fingers

Toothbrushes and toothpaste are specially designed for maximum efficiency, but in times of need, it's better to make use of what you have available to you than to not do anything at all. If you don't have your toothbrush or toothpaste handy, try brushing your teeth using your finger.

This tip can be performed either just with a clean finger or by wrapping a clean paper towel around your finger first. A paper towel can help to keep your hand from getting messy, and the roughness of the towel will help to simulate the bristles on a toothbrush. However, if you can't get a towel, a finger will do.

Wet your finger and simply rub your teeth and gums in soft, circular strokes, just like you would with a toothbrush. While your finger may not be able to loosen as much plaque or get in between your teeth like a toothbrush, performing this one step can help to stimulate your gums and remove food debris from your teeth.

Don't Use Toothpicks

Given their name and availability, no one could blame you if you thought that using toothpicks to get food debris out from between your teeth was a good idea. However, toothpicks aren't actually safe to use for this purpose. Dentists don't recommend using toothpicks if you can help it, and suggest that you take special care to avoid hurting yourself while using them.

If you won't be able to take care of your teeth for some time, make sure to visit a dentist as soon as you can. Tartar builds up quickly, and your teeth and gums could suffer for it. Over short periods of time, however, these tips can help you to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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