Have you ever prepared for a trip or an overnight visit to grandma’s only to realize that while you’ve packed extra clothes, plenty of first aid items, snacks, and toys, you’ve forgotten your child’s toothbrush? Now what? Not to fear, our Chattanooga pediatric dental office has some tips to help.
This is probably the best case scenario. When you have toothpaste, you just need to find something to put it on. Some people use a finger others just swish some around in their mouths. The best thing to do? Neither. Instead, find a clean washcloth or paper towel, wrap it around your finger, wet it slightly, and apply the paste. The washcloth or paper towel will act as a toothbrush and is better than a finger alone since they both have some texture that can mimic toothbrush bristles. Make sure that whatever you choose to use isn’t coarse, or it can damage tooth enamel.
Again we turn to our trusty paper towel or washcloth. Simply wet your make-do brush of choice and wipe each tooth individually from top to bottom. Make sure to rinse your towel between each tooth to limit the amount of plaque that can get transferred from tooth to tooth. When finished, rinse well to remove any loose particles.
As a last resort, sugarless gum (emphasis on the sugarless), a teeth-buffing snack, or both, can help. Chewing gum naturally causes you to produce more saliva. More saliva means more bacteria is rinsed away and isn’t left to cause decay. Nibbling on a smile-happy snack like cheese, crunchy carrots, or crisp apples can serve as micro-scrubbers if a toothbrush is nowhere to be found.
One of the most important things you can do, not only when you find yourself or your child toothbrush-less, but every day, is to drink plenty of water. Water hydrates your mouth and is a safe way to rinse away smile-damaging particles that tend to stick around.
If your child is without a toothbrush, don’t panic. The tips above can get you through a night or two without one, just don’t make them permanent replacements for a real toothbrush. Get to the store to pick up a new one as soon as you can.
As always, we encourage your child to visit our pediatric dental office in Chattanooga regularly to ensure a healthy smile and to check for any problems. If you’re heading out of town and want to get a check-up before you leave, just give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.