It’s the time of year when we all venture out of our hometowns and spend some family time on vacation. To prepare, you’ve packed extra clothes, necessary medications, and even snacks. But you’ve forgotten your toothbrush. Now what? Not to fear, my Alexandria dental office has some tips to help.
Toothpaste but no brush?
This is probably the best case scenario. When you have toothpaste, you just need to find something to put it on to act as a toothbrush. Some people use a finger, others just swish some around in their mouths. The best thing to do? Find a clean washcloth or paper towel, wrap it around your finger, wet it slightly, and apply the paste. The washcloth or paper towel will act as a toothbrush and is better than a finger alone since they both have texture that can mimic toothbrush bristles. Make sure whatever you choose isn’t coarse or it can damage tooth enamel.
No paste and no brush?
Again we turn to our trusty paper towel or washcloth. Simply wet your make-do brush of choice and wipe each tooth individually from top to bottom for your top teeth, and from bottom to top fro your lower teeth. Make sure to rinse your towel between each tooth to limit the amount of plague that can get transferred from tooth to tooth. When finished, rinse well to remove any loose particles.
As a last resort, sugarless gum (emphasis on the sugarless), a teeth-buffing snack, or both, can help. Chewing gum naturally causes you to produce more saliva. More saliva means more bacteria is rinsed away and doesn’t stick around to cause decay. Nibbling on a smile-happy snack like cheese, crunchy carrots, or crisp apples can serve as micro-scrubbers if a toothbrush is nowhere to be found.
One of the most important things you can do not only when you find yourself toothbrush-less, but every day, is drink plenty of water. Water hydrates your mouth and is a safe way to rinse away smile-damaging particles that tend to stick around.
If you find yourself without a toothbrush, don’t panic. The tips above can get you through a night or two without one, just don’t make them permanent replacements for a real toothbrush. Get to the store to pick up a new one as soon as you can.
As always, we encourage visits to my dental office in Alexandria regularly to ensure a healthy smile and to check for any problems. If you’re heading out of town and want to get a checkup before you leave, just give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.
Welcoming patients from Alexandria, Old Towne, Delray, and Potomac Yard.