The toothbrush is often the first item packed when planning a trip, but sometimes, it’s so commonplace that it’s forgotten. We can easily assume we packed it without thinking twice about it, only to discover ourselves without once we’ve reached our destination. If you have lost or forgotten your toothbrush on a trip, and you’re not able to buy a replacement, here’s some ways you can still maintain your oral care habits.

Toothbrush Alternatives when Traveling or Camping

If you have toothpaste.

Find the thickest paper towel you can, and wrap the paper towel around your index finger. Wet the tip just a little bit and apply the toothpaste. Proceed to use your finger as a makeshift brush. Start at the gumline and scrape the plaque from each tooth. Work your way inside your mouth, using a clean section of the paper towel and reapplying the toothpaste as you go.
tooth brush

If you don’t have toothpaste.

In this case, you’ll need to use a clean, wet finger as a brush. FIrst, wash your hands. Then, wipe each tooth from the gums to the tip to remove plaque. Make sure you continually clean your finger between each tooth to avoid spreading bacteria from one tooth to another. You can also use a slightly damp paper towel to help wipe off any excess plaque. Afterwards, rinse extra well to loosen any particles stuck between your teeth.

Your own DIY toothpaste

If salt and water are available, you can make your own toothpaste replacement. Mix one or two teaspoons of salt with eight ounces of warm water, and apply the toothpaste with your finger or paper towel and brush as instructed above. The saltwater has antibacterial properties, and the mixture can also be used as a rinse afterwards to help your mouth feel cleaner.

Mistakes happen. Toothbrushes are forgotten. If you find yourself away on a trip with no toothbrush nearby, it’s still important to take care of your teeth. Even a couple days without brushing can lead to serious problems, and wouldn’t fell all that pleasant, either. If you’re stuck without a brush, follow these tips to help clean your teeth in a pinch.