If you left your toothbrush or forgot to pack it on a trip, or you arrive at work or school without brushing your teeth, you can still clean your teeth with a little flair and creativity. Napkins/paper towels, tree branches, or your fingers can do the job of a toothbrush, or you can eat certain types of food to help clean your teeth in a pinch.
Method 1 of 3: Finding Alternative Toothbrushes
Step 1. Use a small towel or napkin/paper towel
A small, coarse towel (usually for a face wash) will clean better, but paper towels will come in handy if a towel isn't available.
- Wrap a small towel or paper towel around your index finger, wet it, and add toothpaste if you have one.
- Brush your teeth as if you were using a toothbrush: start at the gums and work your way down, cleaning each tooth in circular motions.
- Don't forget to brush your tongue.
- When you're done, rinse your mouth thoroughly, spitting water back and forth.
Step 2. Find a piece of twig
Before there was a toothbrush, most people brushed their teeth with a stick. Even in some parts of the world, people still do it, brushing their teeth using twigs from oak (oak), siwak (arak), and neem (neem). Research shows that arak tree twigs contain natural fluoride and antimicrobial ingredients (substances that block the growth and metabolism of microbes), and brushing your teeth with them is just as or even more effective than using a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Take a stem that is still young and rubbery, about 15 to 20 cm long. You will need one stem with no hard bark, just a thin bark.
- Peel off the skin and chew on one end of the wood until the fibers separate so that the end forms a small brush. Use the artificial brush to brush your teeth.
- You can also use a toothpick to clean between your teeth, but use caution so as not to injure your gums and make them bleed.
Step 3. Brush your teeth with your finger
If you don't have paper towels, small towels, or tree branches, you can use your fingers. First, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly, then use your index finger like you would a toothbrush: start at the gums and work your way down for the top gums and up for the bottom gums, cleaning each tooth in a circular motion.
- Be sure to rinse your fingers before moving them to brush your teeth up and down, as well as from front to back.
- When you're done, rinse your mouth thoroughly, spraying it back and forth and from one cheek to the other, for at least 30 seconds.
Method 2 of 3: Cleaning Teeth Without Brushing
Step 1. Gargle with mouthwash
While mouthwash should not be used as an alternative to brushing and flossing, it has been shown to kill germs in the mouth and prevent plaque formation. Put a small amount of mouthwash in your mouth and squirt it around your mouth to clean your teeth.
Step 2. Use dental floss to clean your teeth
Lucky you if you forget your toothbrush but remember to bring dental floss. Many dentists believe that to fight tooth decay, flossing between teeth is more beneficial than brushing. Dental floss helps clean bacteria and food debris between the teeth and around the gums. After that, rinse your mouth thoroughly to clean it completely.
Flossing can control blood flow in the gums better to create a bacterial barrier or protect the area around your teeth
Step 3. Clean your mouth using the shower
Open your mouth and let the warm water run over your teeth. The shower will act like a water pick system (a device that sprays water on your teeth to remove food debris and plaque), helping rinse your mouth and remove plaque. Combine this step with brushing your teeth with your fingers for a perfect cleaning.
Step 4. Chew gum to clean your teeth
Chewing sugar-free gum has been shown to be as effective as flossing in removing food debris and bacteria from the teeth. Chewing gum also freshens your breath. The optimal length of time to chew it is one minute, more than that the bacteria from the gum will return to the mouth.
Chewing sugar-free gum can also create an optimal pH balance of saliva which will paralyze the growth of bacteria
Step 5. Drink or rinse your mouth with green tea
Green tea contains polyphenol antioxidant compounds that reduce plaque and fight gum disease. Drink the tea as usual, or for a deeper cleanse, use the tea as you would mouthwash.
Step 6. Eat fruits and vegetables that clean your teeth
The natural abrasive properties of fibrous vegetables can help clean your teeth, while the vitamins and acids present in them have the benefit of whitening teeth and also fighting cavities.
- Apples – Apples contain vitamin C, which is necessary for healthy gums, as well as malic acid (malic acid - a dicarboxylic acid that contributes to the sour and tart taste of some fruits), which helps whiten teeth.
- Carrots – Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which strengthens tooth enamel (the tough layer of teeth). The fibers in carrots act as fine hairs on the surface of your teeth as well as between your teeth, creating a natural massage for your gums.
- Celery – Chewing celery will produce a lot of saliva, which can help neutralize the acid that causes cavities in your teeth.
Method 3 of 3: Using Alternative Toothpaste
Step 1. Use baking soda instead of toothpaste
If you have forgotten about toothpaste as well as your toothbrush, you can use baking soda instead. Baking soda is an ingredient in many toothpaste brands because of its ability to whiten teeth and remove plaque. Place a small amount of baking soda on your finger, a paper towel, or a small towel before rubbing it on your teeth.
Step 2. Try a salt and water mixture
Salt has natural antibacterial qualities and can reduce plaque-causing germs in your mouth if you don't have toothpaste. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of salt and one cup of lukewarm water and let the salt dissolve in the water. Next, dip your finger, paper towel, or small towel into the salt water before using it to brush your teeth. You can also use the salt water to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth.
Do not use too much salt or use this method frequently, if you have metal fillings, as salt is corrosive
Step 3. Make a toothpaste with strawberries
Strawberries contain vitamin C to maintain healthy gums, a powerful astringent that helps remove plaque, and malic acid which whitens teeth. Alone or in combination with baking soda, crushed strawberries make a great substitute for toothpaste.