When you're comfortably at home, brushing your teeth is no big deal. But what happens if you're out and about and can't brush? Maybe you've gotten stuck somewhere, like an airport, or you just missed your chance to brush your teeth in the morning before work. In any case, if you're stuck in this situation, here are a few tips to get you through until you can be reunited with your toothbrush.
Avoid Starchy Food
Starchy and sugary food do one thing very, very well: feeding bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth thrive when exposed to simple carbohydrates and sugar, and can start wildly reproducing if they get enough of it. This increases the amount of plaque that will develop in your mouth immediately, which can leave your teeth feeling grimy and gross if you can't get to a toothbrush. So if you're already worried about your teeth and know that brushing isn't an option, stick to healthy low-carb and low-sugar foods for the interim.
Drink and Rinse
Saliva plays a big role in keeping your teeth healthy because it acts like a constant washing as the saliva passes over your teeth and gums. You can improve upon this even more by ensuring that you're drinking enough water and rinsing on a regular basis.
Rinsing helps to loosen and remove food particles and debris from your teeth and gums, which can give the bacteria less to chow down on and create plaque with. Drinking water through the day is also useful because it acts as artificial saliva. Feel free to swish it around in your mouth a bit before swallowing it for full efficacy.
Lastly, if you're really in a pinch and can't get a toothbrush from anywhere, you can make do with a damp paper towel. Just take a paper towel, get it a little bit wet with clean water, and then wrap it over your finger. You can then use the finger like a toothbrush, gently making small circles over your teeth and gums as you go. Switch to a new paper towel if the current one starts to fall apart.
While not as effective as a toothbrush, the rough surface of a paper towel will help to remove some plaque and food debris that would otherwise increase your risk of developing cavities.
Once you're home, make sure to brush straight away. If you have to go for a long period of time unable to brush your teeth, make an appointment with your dentist to undo any damage that's been done.
Talk to a dental office, such as Desert Dental: Ruintan Kamran D.M.D., to learn more about taking care of your teeth.