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How To Clean Your Teeth Without a Toothbrush

Everything to Know About Cleaning Your Teeth Without a Toothbrush

How many times have you packed all your bags for a vacation or a night away only to realize once arriving at your destination that you forgot your toothbrush? Many times, by the time you’ve realized that you forgot your toothbrush, it’s too late to run out and get a new one. In this situation, knowing how to clean your teeth without a toothbrush can be a lifesaver.

So, how can you clean your teeth without a toothbrush? Here are some effective methods for cleaning your teeth for those times when you’ve forgotten your toothbrush:

  • antibacterial mouthwash
  • put toothpaste on your finger or a paper towel
  • baking soda
  • teeth wipes
  • chew gum
  • eat vegetables


Forgetting your toothbrush and not being able to brush your teeth can be embarrassing; your breath may stink, your mouth may feel gross, and your smile may look dull. Your dentist can give you good tips for keeping your teeth clean even when you don’t have a toothbrush. To learn more about these alternative methods you can use when it comes time to clean your teeth, keep reading!

Clean You Teeth Using Antibacterial Mouthwash

One reason brushing your teeth is so effective at preventing tooth decay is that it works to remove plaque from your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria that when left on your teeth, will eat away at tooth enamel. When it comes to finding an alternative method to keeping your teeth clean, you want to make sure the method is effective at removing bacteria from your teeth.

Antibacterial mouthwash is one of the most effective ways to kill bacteria in your mouth. Not only does most antibacterial mouthwashes kill 99% of germs and bacteria but it can also reach into areas of your mouth that the toothbrush or floss may not be able to reach.

To properly use mouthwash, you should swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for at least one minute. Not only will the mouthwash kill harmful bacteria on your teeth, but it will also work to kill harmful bacteria in other places in your mouth.

Clean Your Teeth By Using Your Finger or Paper Towel

The motion of brushing your teeth works to remove food particles, plauge, and acid from your teeth. The scrubbing motion of the toothbrush is able to dislodge particles that may be stuck in the grooves of your teeth. These grooves in your teeth are the areas most susceptible to tooth decay since bacteria can hide in the grooves and avoid being scrubbed away.

If you want to effectively scrub your teeth clean as you do with brushing, you can use your index finger or a paper towel to do this. This will enable you to continue your routine of brushing your teeth. Put toothpaste on your index finger, then use your finger as if it were your toothbrush. You can scrub your teeth around the gums and over the tops of your teeth to remove plaque and particles. Just be sure to wash your hands when you’re done!

You can also use a paper towel as your toothbrush as well. Wrap the paper towel around your index finger, then apply some toothpaste. Wipe the paper towel over your teeth and your gums to remove plaque and bacteria. Having the paper towel wrapped around your finger should may make you feel better about sticking your hand in your mouth!

Clean Your Teeth Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is a product that should be in every house. It has many useful uses that makes it great for many home remedies and alternative methods. One way is can be used is to clean and whiten teeth.

If you thought forgetting your toothbrush is bad, there are moments when I’ve forgotten both my toothbrush and the toothpaste. In these instances not only do I have to find an alternative for a toothbrush but also for toothpaste. Baking soda can be used as an alternative to toothpaste since it has antibacterial properties and it breaks down stains in your teeth.

To use baking soda as a toothpaste, mix some baking soda and water in a bowl until you’ve made a paste. You can then dip your finger into the paste and rub the baking soda paste all over your teeth. When you have finished, be sure to spit out the baking soda and rinse out your mouth.

Before we go on, it’s important to know that there are many teeth cleaning myths out there that can actually by harmful to your teeth. To learn what NOT to do when it comes to cleaning your teeth, check out our article 19 Common Teeth Cleaning Myths.

Clean Your Teeth By Using Teeth Wipes

The only place I had heard of teeth wipes was when I went shopping for a solution to clean my dog’s teeth. I found out that they had teeth wipes you could use to wipe plaque and bacteria from your dog’s teeth. After some research, I discovered that they make teeth wipes for humans too.

One reason you’re told to brush your teeth at least twice a days is so that plaque and bacteria can be removed from your teeth before it can cause damage to the enamel. If you’re looking for an alternative to a toothbrush, you’ll want to find something that enables you to wipe away the plaque and bacteria. This is where teeth wipes come in. They are very effective at removing these things from your teeth and leaving your smile looking shinier.

Clean Your Teeth By Chewing Sugarless Gum

There’s been a long debate about whether or not chewing gum can help keep your teeth clean. Here are the facts: gum filled with sugar is bad for your teeth while sugarless chewing gum is good for your teeth. Once sugar is in your mouth, your salive breaks it down and it turns into acids that can attack your teeth. For this reason, you should avoid gum with sugar in it.

On the other hand, sugarless gum is great for removing food particles, plaque, and bacteria from your teeth without causing damage to your teeth. These substances will collect in the sticky material of the gum, so be sure to spit out your gum when you’re done chewing it!

Clean Your Teath By Eating Vegetables

Vegetables are some of the healthiest foods you can eat; they can benefit your body and your health in many different ways. They can also be used to clean your teeth. Crunchy vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers can remove plaque from your teeth as you chew them. Consuming vegetables can also help protect your gums from cell damage and gum disease.

While vegetables may help clean your teeth, they may not eliminate bad breath. This is something to be aware of if you’ve forgotten your toothbrush or toothpaste and you have somewhere to be.

Your oral hygiene is an important part of your general health, so it’s important to know alternative methods for caring for your teeth in the instance that you have forgotten your toothbrush or toothpaste. If you are in one of these situations, remember to use one of these methods to clean your teeth at least twice a day. Continue to floss to remove plaque and food particles from inbetween your teeth.

Did you know that while your toothbrush is one of the most important tools when it comes to caring for your teeth, it can also be the dirties thing in your house? That’s not something I would want to put in my mouth. To learn how you can keep your toothbrush clean, check out our aticle Disinfecting a Toothbrush: Complete Guide.



Written By

Hi, I'm Matt and I'm one of the writers here at Modern Dental Hygiene. For over 10 years I have been working directly with dentists. My goal is to help you understand the basics of dental hygiene. I enjoy writing about everything related to brushing, flossing and taking care of your teeth. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.

About Us

At Modern Dental Hygiene we make accessible to everyone free dental hygiene information.  The Modern Dental Hygiene team consists of enthusiast, hygienists and dentists. Our common goal is to bring quality content to help you to stay informed.

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