How to Brush Your Teeth Without Toothpaste [Using 18 Tips]

man brushing his teeth

Good oral health involves flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day. But, what do you do if you don’t have toothpaste? You may be traveling and left it behind or had it confiscated at the airline’s security checkpoint because the size was too large. In these instances, you might consider a stopgap arrangement for toothpaste. At home, you may have run out of toothpaste or simply want to try a healthier all-natural product.

Below, we will share several ways of cleaning your teeth without toothpaste. These methods work just as good as brushing with toothpaste in eliminating food particles and plaque from your teeth.

Tip: Dry Brushing

If you have a toothbrush but no toothpaste, you may be tempted to skip cleaning your teeth, but that’s not good for the health of your gums. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to know how to clean your teeth without toothpaste.

children brushing their teeth

According to Dentists in Delano, a study released by the American Dental Association states the importance of dry brushing. The place where the plaque is most likely to accumulate is on the inner surface of the bottom front teeth. This area of the mouth can be adequately cleaned with dry brushing.

Dry brushing will help reduce the presence of bleeding, gingivitis, and reduces plaque buildup. Since no water is involved in dry brushing, you can do it anywhere and brush longer. The longer you brush, it increases the amount of plaque that gets dislodged from your teeth.

Tip: Make Homemade Toothpaste

Because not all the ingredients in commercial toothpaste is good for you, you may opt to make your own makeshift toothpaste. However, there are ingredients in commercial toothpaste that are good for you that you will not receive from your homemade toothpaste. To get the full benefit of both types, you may decide to alternate between your homemade toothpaste and the commercial kind. Using homemade toothpaste will also help you save money by not purchasing expensive commercial products. When you use your own homemade toothpaste, you still want to use mouthwash. Many commercial kinds of toothpaste use mint flavoring. Making toothpaste at home is easy.

The primary ingredients of homemade toothpaste consist of the following:

  • A substance for cleaning.
  • An abrasive for loosening plaque.
  • An emulsifier to help mix all the ingredients well.
  • An agent for sweetening the toothpaste.
  • A flavoring agent.

Tip: Use Baking Soda

According to Colgate, brushing with baking soda is an effective alternative to toothpaste. Baking soda is an abrasive. Studies show baking soda does a good job at removing the plaque from your teeth. The whitening properties found in baking soda will also get your teeth clean. You may discover that baking soda whitens your teeth better than the commercial toothpaste you use.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]If you have baking soda, place some on a wet toothbrush to form a paste. Then brush your teeth using quick sweeping motions.[/perfectpullquote]

Baking soda does not have the most pleasant taste, but you can get rid of the taste by rinsing afterwards. If you mix baking soda with sea salt, you can create a variation of homemade toothpaste.

Tip: Use Oil Pulling

According to Smile in Style Dentistry, when you place a tablespoon of oil (preferably coconut oil or sesame) in your mouth and swish it around it is called oil pulling. You should let the oil swill around in your mouth for 20 minutes. Spit it into a trash can to keep the oil from clogging your drains.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]You should let the oil swill around in your mouth for 20 minutes. Spit it into a trash can to keep the oil from clogging your drains.[/perfectpullquote]

Oil pulling will draw out the toxins in your body and clean and whiten your teeth at the same time. It also reduces teeth sensitivity and gets rid of bad breath. Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. To get even greater results, you can consider adding baking soda to the oil.

Tip: Use a Paper Towel

According to Dr. Grace, if you don’t have toothpaste use a paper towel. If you wrap a paper towel around your finger and use it to brush your teeth, you can clean the food particles and plaque from your teeth.

Using a paper towel is not a permanent replacement to toothpaste, but it is a good stopgap solution to toothpaste when nothing else is available. It doesn’t matter what type of paper towel you have. Make sure you reach the fronts and backs of each tooth when you clean. Then rinse your mouth with water as usual. Your finger wrapped in a paper towel is the method recommended for cleaning a baby’s gums. When you’re trying to make sure you maintain healthy teeth without toothpaste, using a paper towel works for adults as well.

Tip: Use Your Finger

Brushing your teeth without toothpaste can be even more challenging when you don’t have a toothbrush either. In these circumstances where you don’t have anything to work with, according to Dentists in Delano, you can use your index finger.

First, clean your hands by washing them with soap and water. Then place your finger against your teeth and move it back and forth on each tooth to get them clean. Afterward, rinse your mouth with water. The key to having healthy teeth without toothpaste is to make some attempt to keep them clean by removing the food and plaque.

Tip: Use Hydrogen Peroxide

You probably have hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet. It is often used to clean cuts, enhance laundry detergent, and lightening hair. If you forget to purchase toothpaste, or can’t get to the store for some reason, here’s a simple alternative to toothpaste

According to Cove Family Dental, you can hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to create a makeshift toothpaste.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]You should use one-part hydrogen peroxide to every four-parts baking soda. [/perfectpullquote]

The consistency will be a little grainier than commercial toothpaste, but it will clean your teeth in much the same manner as regular toothpaste. The use of hydrogen peroxide is a temporary stopgap alternative to toothpaste. Using the product for an extended length of time can cause gum, tongue, and mouth irritations. It can damage your esophagus. Carbamide peroxide is a compound contained in teeth whiteners stocked by many dentists.

Tip: Flossing

From the first time you went to the dentist, you were probably told to floss every day. According to WebMD, flossing removes the food particles and plaque from between your teeth. If you can’t brush, you should be able to floss. Using floss helps you maintain good dental care without toothpaste. There are many different types of dental floss on the market. They all work when used correctly.

Make sure you have enough of the floss to keep a clean portion of the floss in place as you move from one tooth to the next. Wrap the floss around your index or middle finger of each hand. Keep one finger free that you will use to manipulate the floss.

Tip: Use Twigs or Leaves

What do you do if you are not in a motel when the need for toothpaste arises, but you are out in the middle of nature on a camping trip? Use what you have at your disposal, such as twigs and leaves. According to Dentists in Delano, small twigs and leaves are excellent and effective alternatives to cleaning your teeth without toothpaste.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Find a twig that doesn’t have any bark on it and it bends. Cut off the end of the twig to reveal the small fibers inside. The fibers will serve in much the same way as bristles of a toothbrush. When using twigs and leaves, look for trees like maple, dogwood, or birch. You must be careful not to choose a plant that is poisonous.[/perfectpullquote]

Tip: Use Pure Water

An overlooked method of brushing your teeth in the absence of toothpaste is to rinse your mouth with just plain water. This is the quickest most effective way to clean your mouth without toothpaste.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Take a sip of a glass of water and swill it around your mouth. This will loosen any surface dirt on your teeth. When you spit out the water, you will spit the plaque out with it.[/perfectpullquote]

A good practice is to rinse your mouth with plain water after every meal to remove leftover food particles. This can also help reduce bacteria by as much as 30 percent. Rinsing with water is especially helpful after drinking sugary drinks.

Tip: Use Sea Salt and Water

Sea salt helps to increase the pH balance in your mouth. Increasing the pH balance makes it hard for abrasive bacteria to survive. According to Carefree Dental , it also helps to heal irritated gums. Using sea salt is a simple process. Just wet your toothbrush with water and the sea salt to brush your teeth. If the sea salt causes your toothbrush to become dry, just add more water. Then dip the brush back into the sea salt for a couple more minutes.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]You should not use sea salt on braces, crowns, or any metal dental work because it will cause damage. Also, you should not use sea salt more than twice a week. Continued use of sea salt can damage the tooth enamel, causing your tooth to weaken. Damage to the enamel cannot be reversed.[/perfectpullquote]

Tip: Use All-Natural Soap

If you like using natural products, all-natural soaps can be used as a stopgap arrangement for toothpaste. Although natural, according to Green Oklahoma, regular soap can be used for good dental care without toothpaste and fresh teeth without toothpaste, it will leave your mouth with a soapy feeling. To eliminate the soapy feeling, us peppermint scented soap.

If having natural soap in your mouth does not appeal to you, there are specially designed tooth soaps that might be more appealing. These soaps eliminate residue, oils, and other contaminants from your teeth. Because they are made with natural, organic ingredients, they make a great alternative to toothpaste. They do not contain any fluoride, gluten, or palm oil. All-natural soaps are an excellent way to get good oral care without toothpaste. Many dentists and health experts recommended the use of all-natural soap as a great substitute for toothpaste.

Tip: Use Mouthwash

According to Dentists in Delano, mouthwash is a great replacement to toothpaste. The two main types of mouthwash are therapeutic and cosmetic mouthwashes, according to the American Dental Association. Therapeutic mouthwash helps with gingivitis, reduces plaque, slows down tarter formation, and freshens your breath. Cosmetic mouthwashes help eliminate bad breath and give your mouth a pleasant taste. However, cosmetic mouthwashes do not help reduce gum disease or the risk of cavities.

To use mouthwash as an alternative to toothpaste, dip the toothbrush into the mouthwash. Get the toothbrush fully saturated with the mouthwash. Then brush your teeth as if there was toothpaste on the brush. Afterwards, you should rinse the mouth thoroughly with water after brushing.

Tip: Use Turmeric

Turmeric is a natural spice that’s often used to make mustard look yellow. On fabrics and other surfaces, it will leave them stained. However, it doesn’t make your teeth look yellow. On the contrary, Turmeric will leave your teeth whiter than they were before.

a bowl of tumeric

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]To make a homemade toothpaste using turmeric, mix together coconut oil, a teaspoon of turmeric powder, and peppermint oil. Brush your teeth with it for 3-5 minutes. Then, spit out the turmeric mixture and rinse your mouth with water.[/perfectpullquote]

Unlike fluoride that has been found to be toxic to the brain and body, turmeric contains properties that help save the brain. According to Colgate, it also helps heal irritated gums.

Tip: Use Bentonite Clay

According to Carefree Dental, bentonite clay is a natural oral mineral tonic that absorbs toxins and neutralizes bad bacteria. Therefore, it makes an excellent mouthwash and alternative to toothpaste. Bentonite clay binds to heavy metals and toxins around your teeth and gums and produces an array of good minerals for your teeth. It helps to get rid of excess buildup from the foods that create acid and whitens your teeth in the process.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]To use it as a mouthwash, take a wooden or bamboo spoon and mix ½ a teaspoon of Bentonite clay with a ¼ cup water. Rinse your mouth with the mixture for two minutes. Spit the mix out and rinse it down the drain. To use it as a toothpaste, just dampen your toothbrush dip it in the clay and brush your teeth.[/perfectpullquote]

Tip: Use Licorice

According to WebMD, dried licorice root is an herb that can be used to treat sore throats, digestive and respiratory problems, and other disorders. It is also good for fighting bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease.

According to Colgate, studies show that licoricidin and licorisoflavan, two major bacteria responsible for dental cavities and the promotion of gum disease is inhibited by licorice root.

Some natural toothpaste contains licorice root because of its breath freshening ingredient. Studies show when you add licorice plant extract to candy, it kills cavity-causing bacteria. The licorice-flavored candies sold in stores are different. They contain anise oil instead of licorice root, but it does have a similar taste.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Because licorice may interact negatively with certain prescription drugs, you should consult your doctor.[/perfectpullquote]

Tip: Use Herbal Tooth Powder

According to Carefree Dental, herbal tooth powders can be used instead of toothpaste. These powders do an excellent job of cleaning, and the herbal ingredients can help reduce inflammation, pain, and infection in the mouth.

Your teeth are very resilient considering the beating they take with all the biting, chewing, and gnashing they do. As adults age, the tooth tends to have weak enamel, sensitivity, chipping, soreness, and pain. Herbal Tooth and Gum Powders help in strengthening gums and brightens the teeth.

Tip: Use Activated Charcoal

According to Colgate, activated charcoal can help you have fresh teeth without toothpaste because it pulls out stains naturally.To use activated charcoal as an alternative to toothpaste, dip your toothbrush into some water and then drop it into the charcoal. Brush for at least two minutes. Then, rinse out your mouth with water. Use your toothbrush to remove any charcoal residue.

an image of charcoal

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Activated charcoal does a good job of removing stains left by caffeinated drinks, but an in-office whitening treatment will always work better.[/perfectpullquote]

You may be diligent about cleaning your teeth to keep them white, but much of the lightening of tooth color can only come from bleaching treatments that go below the outer surface of teeth.

Its not the end of the world…..

If you are temporarily without toothpaste, or you choose to find a permanent alternative to toothpaste, you can effectively clean your teeth and maintain a healthy mouth without it. From dry brushing to making your own all-natural toothpaste, the methods shared in this article are great tips on how to clean your teeth without toothpaste. Whether you need a temporary stopgap arrangement for toothpaste or a more permanent great substitute for toothpaste, one of these methods should work for you. The important thing to remember is that just because you don’t have toothpaste does not mean you cannot maintain good oral health.

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