You might find yourself without a toothbrush one of these days. You might realize it at the airport security checkpoint while traveling out of state. Or you could have forgotten to bring your bathroom supplies while staying at a friend’s house. Is that going to stop you from brushing your teeth? Just say no! (as once stated by a famous anti-drug campaign from the early 1990’s).
It’s important to remove sugar molecules from your teeth before bacteria can get to them. After dining on sugar from leftover food, bacteria release acids that are responsible for eating away at your teeth (read: cavities). As few as 4 acidic “occasions” a day can put your enamel at risk, according to a global European study from 2014. To summarize, it’s important to brush and floss twice a day to make sure your teeth are completely free of plaque.
Here are 3 ways to brush your teeth in case you are left without a proper toothbrush.
Brush with a Tree Twig
You read that right. For thousands of years, people have been using twigs to clean their teeth. Before there was plastic for a toothbrush handle and nylon for its bristles, there was Oak and Arak, the most common type of trees used for dental hygiene. In fact, the arak tree bark contains an antibiotic which suppresses bacterial growth, which reduces plaque. Arak naturally strengthens tooth enamel with resins, while reducing stains from tobacco products, coffee, and tea.
BRUSH WITH A PAPER TOWEL
This one is self-explanatory. Wet a paper towel and wrap it around your finger. If you have access to toothpaste, apply some to the tip of your finger. Now brush with your finger as though it is the toothbrush. Using circular motions, start at the gums and brush towards the ends of the teeth. Make sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth out when you’re finished.
BRUSH WITH YOUR FINGER
This method is similar to the previous but assumes you don’t have access to paper towels. It’s important that you wash your hands thoroughly before placing them into your mouth. The bacteria on our hands varies greatly depending on how you extensively you wash them.
It isn’t the end of the world if you forget your toothbrush at home but you should know some other methods to keep plaque off your teeth. Don’t fall into the 30 percent of Americans that brush and floss less than twice a day. It will only mean more cavities, more headaches, and more money coming out of your wallet!