Good oral hygiene is no joke when it comes to maintaining your overall health, and this can be especially hard when camping or on a long outdoor trip. Tooth and gum infection can come on quickly and even cause other health problems. It does not matter if you will be out-of-pocket for a few days or years. You will never regret taking the time to discover the best ways to maintain a healthy smile when hygiene facilities are miles from your location.
Travel Size Toothbrush and Toothpaste
If you will be anywhere near civilization, these may be the best items to bring. Simply use a small amount of toothpaste and rinse. You do not even need water. Be careful not to spit the toothpaste anywhere near a campsite. Bears and other wild critters will be attracted to the smell. You could have some unexpected and unwelcome guests at that point.
Sticky Gum and Floss
Chewing xylitol gum is a great way to keep your teeth clean no matter where you end up. The gum makes your teeth slippery and harder for bacteria to stay on them. It is cheap, practical and works. Along with gum, a small roll of dental floss can be best friend. It will help pull out trapped food between the teeth. A long strand of hair works well as floss in a pinch.
When convenience stores are miles away, grab a gob of sap and chew it like gum. It works just as well when there is nothing else available for miles. Chewing stimulates your salivary glands, which can help fight bacteria on your teeth and gums. American sweetgum trees has a resin you can chew on, as do pine trees. You can also chew on beeswax or bark in a pinch.
Teeth Cleaning Twig
Break off a small branch and remove the bark. Cut off a bite size piece and carefully chew it. Make sure you rotate it throughout the mouth and spit out all the wood. The abrasive actions will clean the teeth pretty well, and once the end is frayed, it acts as a brush for your teeth. You can also make your own flat end toothpick and scraper of sorts using a tiny branch. It takes very little woodworking skill with a small pocket knife to shape.
Seek out a thick fir tree. The small pine needles can be trimmed down in a one-inch section and removed along a 5 or 6-inch portion of the small branch. You want a bare part of the branch long enough to firmly grasp with your hand. It will resemble a small toothbrush. It is not perfect, but if you are diligent, it works well if you have no alternative.
If you are worried about a buildup of stains on your teeth bring a small bag of baking soda. Wet the tip of your finger and sprinkle on a little baking soda. Use the finger to scrub the surface of your teeth. Twice a day and your pearly whites will stay white.
Avoid High Sugar, Acids and Coffee
If you are going to be deep in the woods or on extended trips with limited hygiene facilities it is best to avoid certain foods and drinks to preserve the health of your teeth and gums. This means you need to pass on the taffy, caramel, candy bars, fruit juice, strawberries, citrus and soda. Eliminate highly processed foods from the diet. Foods and drinks with high sugar and acid content will promote thinning of the tooth enamel, which sets you up for the start of tooth decay. Drinks like coffee and tea can really stain your teeth. Avoid smoking, as it also stains teeth.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. Dixie got information from this piece from Crest Hill Family Dental.