Looking after your teeth in a post-apocalyptic world will be very important. If you don’t, you’ll soon be susceptible to gum disease and rotting teeth. Let’s take a look at how to maintain your dental hygiene in a post-apocalyptic world.
Storing And Using Toothpaste
The easiest way to keep your teeth clean is brushing with toothpaste, but can it be stored?
What Is The Shelf Life Of Toothpaste
Most toothpastes have a shelf life of around two years. Keep several tubes of toothpaste in your store cupboard As with food make sure you use the oldest and add new to your store each time you use one.
Can I Use Expired Toothpaste?
Yes you can use expired toothpaste, according to Crest. Over time, fluoride in the toothpaste becomes less effective. This is the active ingredient that helps to prevent tooth decay. So expired toothpaste is safe to use, but the protection it gives you is reduced. Brushing your teeth, even with expired toothpaste, will still clean them though.
Alternatives To Toothpaste
An alternative to toothpaste that you can store is tooth powder. It is a fluoride free powder, designed to be used with a toothbrush to gently polish your teeth.
Some people use baking soda as a base for making their own toothpaste. Baking soda is abrasive, and will eventually wear out the enamel on the surface of your teeth so don’t use it too often.
How To Maintain Post-Apocalyptic Dental Hygiene Without Toothpaste
You don’t actually need toothpaste to keep your teeth clean. Post-apocalyptic dental hygiene is all about removing food particles and plaque that would otherwise build up on your teeth. You won’t have the added protection of fluoride, but that isn’t vital if you take care and regularly clean your teeth well.
Dry brushing is just using a toothbrush to clean your teeth with no toothpaste. Done regularly, and combined with flossing, this will remove the majority of the food particles that get stuck in your teeth.
Add some plaque removal tools to toothbrush and floss and you have a great post-apocalyptic dental hygiene kit.
How To Make Your Own Toothbrush
Once you’ve run out of toothbrushes from your stores, you can make your own. Find a small, flexible twig and remove the bark. At one end, make several cuts of around 0.5cm in line with the twig. Rotate the twig 90o and make some more cuts across the ones you’ve already made. This leaves you with some bristles at one end of the twig. Hammer the bristles to soften them up and then use to brush each tooth.
How To Deal With Dental Emergencies
No matter how well you look after your teeth, you may still have to deal with damage or decay. Often overlooked by preppers, it’s important to be prepared for dental emergencies. Take a look at our article on creating your own prepper’s emergency dental kit.