Travel Hacks: What to do when you Forget to Pack your Toothbrush
It happens to the best of us: you think you have everything packed for your trip, only to find out that you forgot a hygiene essential when you get to your destination: your toothbrush!
Now, first things first. Take stock of where you are and what you have. See if you managed to bring along toothpaste, mints, gum, mouthwash, dental floss, or even non-alcoholic wet wipes. Next, assess if you can last the day or the duration of your trip without actually brushing your teeth. If you’re somewhere near shops, then nip downstairs and simply buy a toothbrush, or if you’re in a hotel, then ask them so send one up.
Assuming you have packed at least toothpaste, then you can do the good old finger-brushing technique. Thoroughly gargle with water to remove evident grime from your pearly whites and then wash your pointer finger. Next, put toothpaste on your finger, and use it to brush your teeth and tongue! It isn’t the most comfortable way to brush your teeth, but at least your mouth will feel refreshed.
If you only have mints or gum, then eat a mint before going to bed and drink water to wash out the sugar from your teeth. For gum, chew it for a minute (just one minute, as after that the bacteria will just be released back into your mouth), just spit it out and wrap it in its wrapper before you discard it.
Now here’s for the fun part: what do you do when you’ve forgotten both your toothpaste and toothbrush, and you don’t have access to mints or gums? Here are a few travel hacks you can do:
In case of a pinch, use a piece of paper or a piece of napkin to clean your teeth. Simply rub it along your teeth (or chew it if you are so inclined) and spit out the tartar and plaque you just scraped off. Then, switch water in your mouth and spit it out. It won’t give you the satisfying sensation of having fresh-smelling breath, but at least you have semi-clean teeth.
If you have skin wipes, just bare your teeth and wrap the wipe on your finger. Then, gently wipe down your teeth. Follow this again with a strong swish of water, and you should be good to go until you can find a piece of mint.
If you’re out in the great outdoors, you can use a twig. Peel the skin off and chew on one end, and then use the fibrous material to brush your teeth. However, proceed with caution as you may make your gums bleed if you try to thoroughly scrub your teeth.
Of course, there’s no real alternative to brushing your teeth with an actual toothpaste and toothbrush. With these tips though, you’ll be able to rough it up for a night or two, and hang in there until you find a store that has your oral essentials – or even if you just bump into someone who has a stash of breath mints or two.