What to Do if You Have No Toothbrush
Have you ever woken up with bad breath but no toothbrush? If so, you may have wondered if simply brushing your teeth with your fingers is enough to eliminate bacteria and clean your teeth.
In a pinch, finger brushing is preferable to not brushing at all. But don’t let it become a habit!
Read on to find out how to efficiently finger-wash your teeth and what are other teeth-cleaning solutions.
How to clean your teeth with your fingers
Follow these instructions to clean your teeth without a toothbrush:
- Use soap and water to clean your hands thoroughly.
- If you have access to dental floss, use it before brushing your teeth with your fingers. This will aid in the loosening and removal of plaque between teeth and beneath the gum line.
- Apply a strip of toothpaste to the tip of your index finger.
- If you don’t have toothpaste, dip your finger in a baking soda-water or saltwater solution.
- Brush the front and back of each tooth in a circular motion. Make sure to brush above the gum line as well.
Is finger brushing effective?
Brushing your teeth with your fingers is less effective than dental cleanings or cleaning with a toothbrush, but it is preferable to not brushing at all. However, it should only be used when necessary.
Brushing your teeth with your fingers will help freshen your breath and eliminate plaque and bacteria on your teeth. However, it cannot successfully reach beneath the gum line or between teeth.
A short study examined the differences between cleaning your teeth with your fingers and using a manual toothbrush. The manual toothbrush decreased plaque by 79 percent, while finger brushing cleared plaque by only 62 percent.
They also discovered that finger brushing was less efficient on the outsides of teeth, only eliminating 55% of plaque buildup.
Should you borrow someone else’s toothbrush or brush with your fingers?
Simply put, when you use someone else’s toothbrush, you can catch their germs, including those that cause mononucleosis, colds, and the flu.
If you have a new, intimate relationship and no toothbrush, you might imagine that using their toothbrush is about equivalent to kissing them in terms of germs, but this is not the case.
When you kiss, you mostly exchange saliva. When you use someone else’s toothbrush, you introduce millions of germs and bacteria onto your teeth and under your gums.
Toothbrushes create a moist environment that encourages the growth of bacteria, germs, fungi, and viruses. Millions of bacteria can be found in the ordinary toothbrush. Furthermore, the more bacteria a toothbrush can carry, the older it is.
Toothbrushes may even become polluted by toilet plumes, which may contribute to the spread of infectious diseases.
Long-term couples that kiss frequently have the same oral microbiota as new partners. So, if you’re in unfamiliar surroundings and don’t have a toothbrush, finger brushing is generally your best alternative.
Other teeth-cleaning options
If you don’t have a toothbrush, here are several more teeth-cleaning choices to consider:
- Using a paper towel. Wrap a wet textured paper towel around your finger. Apply toothpaste to a paper towel and brush your teeth like you would your fingers.
- Coconut oil. Antifungal and antibacterial activities are found in coconut oil. It can be applied on your finger or a paper towel.
- Gum with no added sugar. Chewing sugar-free gum increases saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and microorganisms.
- Parsley. Chewing on parsley has antimicrobial qualities and makes your breath smell nice.
- Mouthwash. Fluoride-containing mouthwash can help prevent tooth decay and freshen breath.
- Oil Pulling. Oil pulling is the practice of swishing oil around your mouth like mouthwash. There is some evidence that coconut oil pulling may lower bacterial levels in the mouth.
To avoid the problem entirely, carry a portable toothbrush or dental wipes with you when you travel or go on a date. Hotels and hotels frequently provide free toothbrushes and floss that you may keep.