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Forgot Your Toothbrush? Here’s How To Brush Your Teeth Without a Toothbrush

Forgot Your Toothbrush? Here’s How To Brush Your Teeth Without a Toothbrush


Forgot Your Toothbrush? Here’s How To Brush Your Teeth Without a Toothbrush

by West Coast Dental

Summer has become a popular time to travel, especially after sheltering in place during the pandemic. After staying at home for so long, it can be easy to forget travel essentials including dental care items.

What if, after a long journey, you realize you forgot your toothbrush? You may not have the energy to go out and buy one before bed. Maybe the hotel you’re staying at doesn’t offer complimentary toothbrushes. Maybe you packed a toothbrush, but it somehow broke before it was time to use it.

Of course, the best thing to do is to replace your toothbrush as soon as possible. In the meantime, follow our expert tips on how to brush your teeth without a toothbrush.

Find Other Dental Cleaning Tools

A traditional toothbrush is designed to maneuver around your mouth and remove food particles and plaque buildup. So, when you’re looking for alternative methods to use to brush your teeth, think of creative ways to clean your teeth using what you have on hand.

Use a Paper Towel Or Washcloth

Wrap a clean paper towel or washcloth around the end of your finger. Moisten the tip with water and add some toothpaste. Starting with your gums, use circular motions to work your way down, cleaning the inner and outer surfaces of each tooth thoroughly. Rub the towel or cloth on your tongue to remove bacteria. Once finished, rinse your mouth with water.

Use Your Finger

When in doubt, use your finger to brush your teeth. Before you begin, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of disease. Put a small amount of toothpaste on the end of your finger and move it around your teeth in a circular motion to dislodge food particles and plaque.

Eat Fruits and Veggies

Eating high-fiber fruits and vegetables can help clean your teeth and gums. For example, munching on carrots, apples or celery can help remove food particles from your teeth. Eating these foods increases saliva production, which helps minimize damage from acids and enzymes. These foods also contain vitamins that help protect your teeth and gums. In addition, when you’re without your toothbrush, make sure to stay away from certain foods like citrus fruits and sugary foods.

Chew Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum can help remove food particles between brushings. Chewing gum also increases the flow of saliva, which helps neutralize and wash away acids in your mouth.

Swish with Mouthwash

Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash that contains fluoride can help reduce bacteria, freshen your breath and strengthen your enamel. Swish for about a minute before spitting it out in the sink.  

Use Floss

Even if you can’t brush the traditional way, you can still use floss to remove food particles that got stuck between your teeth, preventing them from becoming plaque. Use a gentle rocking motion to clean thoroughly between your teeth. But don’t be too rough around your gum line.

Consult a Dental Expert

Remember, while it may be necessary to find alternative ways to clean your teeth, traditional brushing is the best way to safeguard your dental health. So, get a new toothbrush as soon as you can, and be sure to brush for two full minutes each time you use it.

At West Coast Dental, we have the dental expertise, tools and training needed to help you maintain your smile between dental visits. To consult one of our dental experts about teeth cleaning and maintenance, book an appointment today.


Humana — 4 tips for cleaning your teeth without a toothbrush

American Dental Association (ADA) — Oral Health Topics: Chewing Gum

American Dental Association (ADA) — Oral Health Topics: Mouthwash

University of Rochester Medical Center — The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth

University of Chicago College of Dentistry — Eats Fruits and Veggies for a Healthy Smile

Healthline — Finger Brushing (When You Find Yourself Without a Toothbrush)

Modern Dental Hygiene — Everything to Know About Cleaning Your Teeth Without a Toothbrush

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