Teeth cleaning has been so commercialized — what, with all the different kinds of toothpaste and toothbrushes found in the market, and all the oral cosmetic services offered to nearly everyone. Little do we know that there are various ways in which we can clean our teeth and protect our oral health, even without the help of these highly commercialized products.
The knowledge of these ways is essential, especially during a post-apocalyptic/TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) scenario, for we would rarely find mint toothpaste or 24-hour whitening teeth cleaners during this time. (Related: Homemade toothpaste recipes – better oral health for less)
You will need to have to improvise to safeguard the health of your teeth, gums, tongue, all of your mouth. There are a lot of raw foods that have cleaning properties that can be used to clean teeth (carrots, apples, pears) as long as they are hard (soft fruits, those that are nearly ripe won’t do), to the point that they can even protect teeth and gums from canker sores and gingivitis.
Here are some of the best materials to replace conventional teeth cleaning products:
- Baking soda– Baking soda’s properties enable it to eliminate acids that are detrimental to the enamel, getting rid of bacteria that cause plaque buildup. Also, baking soda removes stains effectively on cloth and surfaces, even on teeth. Even the Greek physician Hippocrates had a mouthwash recipe based on baking soda, alum, and vinegar. You can mix baking soda with many oils to enhance its cleansing properties, such as cinnamon oil (antimicrobial and antibacterial properties), peppermint oil (antibacterial properties, plus capacity as a breath-freshener and sinus-clearer), and clove oil (antibacterial and painkilling properties). (Related pH Medicine)
- Salt – Salt has a myriad of uses for the ever-prepared prepper. One of such applications is in the field of oral hygiene. When you use salt as toothpaste, in moderation, of course, it can whiten one’s teeth. It can be used for disinfection purposes and can prevent bad breath, plaque, and tar. For best results, mix salt with baking soda (70 percent baking soda, 30 percent salt) to have an effective germ-fighting concoction. To make mouthwash, you just need to add salt to potable water.
- Oxygenated water (three percent hydrogen peroxide)– Gargling oxygenated water is a surefire way to treat gingivitis, canker sores, and harmful bacteria. Before using it, it should be diluted with water, as in its own, it could be abrasive to teeth. Mixing equal parts water and three percent of hydrogen peroxide can get you an effective mouthwash. Don’t swallow the mixture swish it around your mouth for 20 seconds and then spit it immediately after before you brush your teeth.
- Primitive toothbrushes (also known as chew sticks) – An ancient tradition of age-old people is to chew on sticks and branches to clean their teeth. To make a perfect toothbrush out of branches, chew on little twigs and branches to split them into several small brands. When the twig gets spread enough, you can use the twig as a toothbrush. Some of the best trees to make do-it-yourself toothbrushes out of include juniper, eucalyptus, neem, and oak, as they are good sources of tannins that are effective in curing gum-related issues, and are rich in oils that stimulate blood flow.
There you go. We have just presented some of the best ways for you to maintain your oral hygiene even during the toughest of times. Remember, there is no excuse to overlook your oral health. Also, while you’re at it, try not to ingest too many acidic foods and drinks, which include fizzy drinks, red wine, fruit juices, smoothies, and fruit teas to prevent enamel erosion or the decrease of minerals from your teeth. You may not have to worry about the cost of drinking these things in a post-apocalyptic scenario, but just try to keep the advice in mind.
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