How to keep your teeth clean when you’re in a SHTF scenario

Oral hygiene is important, even during an SHTF scenario. You can’t neglect oral hygiene, so you have to improvise and make use of what you have. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to modern teeth cleaning methods. Here are some of them: (h/t to

Baking soda: Baking soda has natural properties that can neutralize acids that can harm the enamel, kill bacteria that cause plaque buildup, and remove stains. Baking soda can be combined with vinegar, or with oils for added benefits. Some of the oils you can add are cinnamon oil, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and peppermint oil, which also contains antibacterial properties, freshens the breath, and clears up the sinuses. Adding clove oil can get rid of bacteria and relieve pain.

Salt: Using salt for brushing can whiten and brighten your teeth. It is mild on the teeth and can be used everyday. Salt can also be used as an ingredient for mouthwash, which is great for disinfecting, eliminating bad breath, tartar, plaque, and boosting the healing process. You can use salt as it is or mix it with baking soda. If you have some sage, you can add it to the mix.

Hydrogen peroxide: Three percent hydrogen peroxide is an effective treatment for gingivitis, canker sores, and harmful bacteria. However, it should be diluted with water first before using. This is because it can be a bit harsh on the teeth. You can make a mouthwash out of this by mixing equal amounts of water and hydrogen peroxide 3%. Be careful to not swallow the mixture. Before you brush your teeth, swish it around in your mouth for no longer than 20 seconds, then spit it out. You can also use the mixture to wash your toothbrush to kill off residual bacteria.

Chew sticks: This primitive teeth-cleaning method involves chewing down on small twigs and branches then splitting them into several small brands. After you are done chewing and the twigs are spread enough, you can use it to clean your teeth like how you would use a toothbrush. Some plants you can use are oak, juniper, eucalyptus, and neem tree. These are packed with tannins, which are great for cleansing and treating gum-related problems, and oils that improve blood flow. (Related: Natural toothpaste reduces risk of cavities: Herbal toothpaste found to raise mouth pH, reduce sugar in saliva.)

Foods: There are foods that can clean your teeth as you eat them. These include the following:

  • Apples: Apples are rich in fiber, which can clean the teeth, remove plaque, and get rid of other food debris, while their acidity helps destroy bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Carrots: Carrots are fibrous like apples and clean the teeth in the same way. Carrots can also stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleanses the teeth. Moreover, carrots prevent gingivitis as they are rich in B vitamins.
  • Leafy greens: Similar to apples and carrots, the fiber in leafy greens helps remove food debris and plaque.

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