How to Brush Your Teeth If You Don’t Have a Toothbrush

Slapping headIt seems that there is a universal law of vacation that states: You will forget something.  The object forgotten is directly proportionate to the distance of the vacation spot from home times the difficulty it would be to obtain said object.  For example, if you travel to a remote island in Tahiti, you will forget something very important, like your credit card.  Luckily, the universe tends to believe that your toothbrush is the most important and difficult to obtain object.  Hence, many people forget their toothbrushes when they go on vacation.  We’ve all been there, the first time was a sleepover at your cousin’s house when you were six, the second time, a school trip a few years later.   The third, fourth, fifth, and nine hundredth time flew by so quickly, you almost forgot about each one.  So if you forget your toothbrush, what can you do?

Go Buy a New One

The easiest and best thing to do is just to go out and buy a new toothbrush.  Luckily, toothbrushes are everywhere: gas stations, convenience stores, supermarkets, etc.  You can even call the hotel front desk (if you are staying in a hotel) and see if they have any complimentary toothbrushes.  A cheap toothbrush is only a few dollars, so you can buy one without breaking the bank.

What if you are not in a position that you can buy a toothbrush such as visiting a campsite, being trapped inside due to inclement weather, or you have traveled far away from modern conveniences?  What can you do in a pinch?

Use a Towel or Rag

Wrap a toothpaste or rag around your finger and cover it in toothpaste.  Get it slightly damp and use this contraption.  Scrape the plaque off of each tooth, replacing the towel or section of the towel as necessary.  

Use Your Finger

Optionally, you can use a clean, wet finger with toothpaste on it to wipe down your teeth from the gums down to remove the plaque.   Clean your finger frequently to avoid the spread of bacteria.  

Use Salt Water

If you don’t have a toothbrush or toothpaste, use salt water as toothpaste to clean your mouth.  Use the same methods as above, using your finger or a towel to wipe down your teeth.  Saltwater has antibacterial properties and will help rid your mouth of cavity causing bacteria.  

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is another toothpaste substitute that you can use.  You probably know that many toothpastes use it as one of their active ingredients, because it does work so well.  Mix it with lemon juice or vinegar to make it more effective.