What is better: No toothbrushing at all or using makeshift aids?
Everyone knows it: You unexpectedly spend a night in another bed or have no possibility to brush your teeth while travelling. Now you’re in a bit of a dilemma – leave brushing your teeth or clean your teeth with your fingers or chewing gum?
It is definitely better to improvise than to let dental care be complete. Instead of using your bare finger, you can wrap a washcloth or a sheet of kitchen roll around your finger and brush your teeth with a little water or, at best, toothpaste with your usual movements.
Another possibility is a sugar-free dental care gum. Such chewing gum has the advantage of removing food debris from the teeth and reducing bacterial plaque. However, one should chew the gum intensively only for a short time and then spit it out afterwards. After just a few minutes, chewing gum can no longer absorb any of the bacteria present in the mouth, but rather release the bacteria that were previously absorbed back into the mouth.
Fresh breath can be brought in by mouthwashes, but the cleansing effect is hardly noticeable here. Bacterial growth may be delayed, but plaque is not removed. Mouth rinses do not replace dental care!
It is a mistake, however, that apples clean the teeth. They are healthy, contain many important minerals and even remove surface deposits from the teeth. But apples also contain acids and fructose, which can attack tooth enamel and promote caries bacteria. Carrots are better. They not only stimulate the saliva flow, but also “brush” the teeth by intensive chewing and massage the gums. Both variants, however, do not remove food residues sufficiently.
Conclusion: None of these options is suitable for longer periods of time, as bacterial deposits and food residues cannot be sufficiently removed. For in between times the mentioned aids can help to minimize the damage and are definitely better than not brushing your teeth at all!