How to Clean Teeth without a Toothbrush


In recognition of October being National Dental Hygiene Month, the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics wanted to share some tips and advice for how to clean your teeth when you do not have a toothbrush.

There are times when you are out and about and you do not have a 938594toothbrush readily available but you feel as though you have to do something to clean your teeth. Even though nothing can clean teeth as well as a regiment using toothbrush, floss and mouthwash, there are a few ways that you can make your teeth feel cleaner when you are stuck in a bind.

Paper Towel

Take a clean, thick paper towel and wrap it around your index finger. Dampen the towel and add toothpaste if you have any. If not, you can just use a damp towel to clean off some plaque and food particles from your teeth. After you wrap your finger with the paper towel and place it to your gum line and use short strokes starting at the gum working towards the bottom of your teeth. Focus on each tooth individually and also use this technique on the inside of your teeth as well. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to help remove some bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Using Your Finger

If you are unable to get a paper towel to brush off the plaque and food particles from your teeth, you can simply use your finger. Fingers have a rough surface that may be able to clear off the top surface of your teeth. The most important factor in using your finger is to first wash hands really well. After your hands are clean you can use the same motion as you would with the paper towel, begin at the gums and work down, focusing on each individual tooth in a circular motion.

Baking soda

You may have noticed that baking soda is an ingredient in many different toothpaste brands. It has been said to have tooth whitening abilities and is able to remove plaque. If you have any available, you can place some on your finger or the paper towel and follow the above method.


While mouthwash should not be used as an alternative to your full teeth cleaning regiment, it does have great cleaning effects. Many mouthwashes now contain fluoride and teeth cleaning ingredients. Pour some into your mouth and swish it around for approximately a minute to clean your teeth.


Floss is a small and portable item that you can keep with you on the go. Floss is a great alternative to brushing your teeth when you are on the go. Floss will help you to remove bacteria and food particles in the hard to reach areas around your gums and stuck in between your teeth. Using scented floss will help to freshen your breath as well.

Textured Teeth Wipes

If you carry a bag around you have the option of keeping brushing wipes with you for on the go. A few brands have made these wipes that are individually packaged, allowing you to be able to clean your teeth and freshen your breath when you are not near a bathroom or sink. These are a great item to keep with you for a quick fix!


Although it may seem strange, there are some fiber filled vegetables that can help clean your teeth when you are in a bind. Chewing on celery, apples, and carrots can actually help to clear food particles away from your teeth; however they will not freshen your breath.

Chewing Gum

Finally, chewing gum cannot only help to freshen breath when you are out and about; it also has been shown to loosen food particles and plaque from your teeth. If you are out and worried about your breath or what is settling on your teeth after a meal, pop a piece of gum in your mouth and you are good to go, just remember to make sure it is sugar free!

There are so many different ways to keep your mouth clean and fresh even when you aren’t able to brush your teeth. Make sure you do not depend on these methods, rather use them when you feel necessary. Keep up with your regular dental health regiment of flossing, brushing and using mouthwash at least two times a day and after meals. Also, be sure to visit your dentist twice a year at minimum for a clean mouth. Happy National Dental Hygiene Month, keep smiling!

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