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  1. #1

    Default Another toothbrush thread

    My thoughts lately have turned to effectively cleaning my toothbrush in the field. At home toothpaste is easy enough to get out with running hot water. In the woods, not so easy, at least for me. I've not fond of rubbing my sometimes less than clean hands on the bristles while pouring water to help clean the bristles.

    The solution I've come up with is to use essential oils to clean my teeth. I started brushing with essential oils as a treatment for bleeding gums (it worked for me). Originally I purchased a premixed blend of essential oils but now find it much less expensive and just as effective to purchase essential oils myself and mix my own. Google can get you all kind of recipes. I use 1/3 peppermint oil, 1/3 spearmint oil, 1/3 almond oil, doesn't have to be precise. One only needs a couple of drops to brush one's teeth. Essential oils leave no visible residue like toothpaste can although rinsing the toothbrush with water is still needed for any food particles or whatever came off the teeth. Then the essential oils can be re-applied to the brush to sanitize it. I even found a brush head cover online that uses essential oils to keep the brush head sanitary. (I am not affiliated with the product and have only seen it online.) If one feels the need to use fluoride there are mouthwashes with fluoride one can use.

    I've read articles and even asked the hygienist cleaning my teeth about brushing and it seems the brushing is what gets the teeth clean. Toothpaste is mostly marketing.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by perrymk View Post
    . . .Thoughts?
    Yeah. Take a tooth brush and brush with it.

    Don't putting anything on it other than water. To clean off the food particles after brushing, take a big swig of water, stick your toothbrush in your mouth and swish the water around and through the toothbrush to clean it.

    If you want fresh minty breath, put something fresh and minty in your mouth after you're done brushing.

    I think brushing teeth is kinda like most other hygiene. It's personal. There are lots of ways to manage it. Each of us have our own little concerns and comforts we like and are willing to put effort into addressing. I think your idea of brushing with essential oils is a good example of yet another interesting way to solve a problem that some people feel they have and that some people think isn't a problem that needs solving.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  3. #3
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    Good points, and here is another regarding toothbrush logistics. Keep your toothbrush and toothpaste in a ziplock, at top of your food bag. You'll need it at those times of day anyway, plus its always being stored at night along with food when bag gets hung or stowed in a bear box.

  4. #4

    Default

    Most of the effectiveness of brushing teeth is from the actual action of brushing and less from the toothpaste, so as someone above said...just brush

    However, you're touching the food you put in your mouth with those hands so what is the difference with your toothbrush?

  5. #5
    Registered User MikekiM's Avatar
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    Skip the toothpaste..

    Makes it easier to brush while hiking.

    Dirty water? Same as the swill at the both of your cookpot when done cleaning. Drink it.


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  6. #6

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    What Nsherry61 said. Most people use way too much toothpaste. The video's of covering your brush with toothpaste, were by the people SELLING you the paste. At home with running water, no big deal. I use what would be equivalent to Q-Tip amount or less, at home and in the woods. Just a very small amount of water to wet the bristles. Brush.....blast/spray into the nearby bush. Small amount of H2O in mouth, brush back in, brush and spray. Could repeat again, but I'm usually got no residual paste at that point.
    Last edited by rhjanes; 08-31-2018 at 18:23.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
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  7. #7
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    I have a sealed straw with baking soda. I sprinkle a tiny bit on a child's toothbrush and brush with that. When done, I just swallow. I figure I could probably use the extra salt anyway.

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  8. #8

    Default

    Take half a mouthful of clean water in your mouth, insert brush, rinse about, remove brush.

    Don't swallow essential oils. I wouldn't even put them in my mouth undiluted.

    https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-...mean-risk-free

  9. #9
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    The only tip i can give us don't leave the toothbrush in a closed zip lock for an extended period of time. I closed mine up on the trail once and then stowed my gear when I got home. The next time I went to use it, the brush was covered in black mildew or mold. It was gross. Now I make sure to open it up and dry out the brush and bag before putting it away.

  10. #10

    Default

    I use salt and soda in the woods.Swallow when done for LNT.

  11. #11

    Default

    I get one of those tiny fresh breath dropper bottles that they sell at the dollar store, and put a couple of drops on the toothbrush. I trust that it’s the brushing that helps the teeth, but the drops provide “minty fresh breath.”

  12. #12

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    "...I'm not fond of rubbing my sometimes less than clean hands on the bristles while pouring water to help clean the bristles..."

    Right. I'm with you. That's why I use a long handled spoon, to keep my grubby fingers away from my food...and also why I haven't shortened my toothbrush to save a quarter of an ounce.
    .
    I'm also of the school of thought that says toothpaste isn't required.
    Still, food particles probably stay in the toothbrush after brushing, so what's the safest (germ- wise) way to clean the toothbrush in the backwoods?

    I bet some of the responses will be entertaining, if not educational.

    Me? After brushing (without toothpaste), I rinse my mouth with fresh water, swallow it, pour some water on the toothbrush and brush my front teeth while sucking the water off the toothbrush.
    ...that's probably no better than using a finger to flick the bristles while dribbling water over them... but this right here and now is the most time I've ever spent thinking about it. Lol

  13. #13
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    Default

    Never hurts to swish your toothbrush around in boiling water every so often.

  14. #14

    Default

    I prefer using organic toothbrushes instead of plastic ones. It's definitely better for my health and for the environment. The bamboo toothbrush I've purchased is totally organic and I can be sure that it desn't contain any toxins. As for the usage in the woods, I think essential oils are good idea. There is also a recipe of natural toothpaste which will not bring harm both to your health and the invironment when you split it out:
    - half a cup of coconut oil.
    - 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda.
    - two little packets of stevia powder.
    - 20 drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil.
    If you have myrrh extract you can add it as well but it's not necessary.

  15. #15
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    For weekend hikes, I used to take along 2-packs of Colgate Wisp Mini Brushes... tiny, light weight, disposable (my only issue with them is that I would usually hang my food/trash bag immediately AFTER dinner and BEFORE I thought about brushing my teeth for the evening requiring that I retrieve the food/trash bag to dispose of the used tooth brush).

    When I was preparing for a JMT thru hike, I found where my kid's dentist had handed out a Dr. Fresh Toothbrush Travel Kit (I since found similar thing in a Walmart store for like $2).
    It wasn't the kit as a whole that I liked... it was the toothbrush cover in it. It's a clam-shell design and just barely fits over the tooth brush... the smallest tooth brush cover I've encountered.

    I think I paired the cover with a mini tooth brushes available from places such as the Oraline Kid's Toothbrush at Minimus.biz and my favorite travel toothpaste tube (like the one that comes in the Dr. Fresh Travel Kit).

    The other thing I found that made organization and utilization very simple was a tiny mesh bag. I had purchased one of the smallest Granite Gear waterproof stuff sacks for my 1st aid kit. The stuff sack comes in a small zipper bag like this sample image (pulled from a Google Search pointing to guthookhikes.com).
    StuffStack.jpg

  16. #16
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    swallowing your tooth paste or whatever you use isn't LNT that's just crazy.... I go far from camp and a little off trail, spit everything out and then when I'm rinsing my mouth and brush I use that water to help wash and dilute everything... kick over some leaves and do the same thing, returning the leaves/dirt/whatever when done if that's not LNT enough for you. Suggesting people to drink their pot after cleaning it and swallow their tooth paste is just ridiculous.

    That's like saying you have to go 100 feet off trail every time you take a leak to be LNT.... Really ATC? …. you want me to trample over 100 feet of vegetation every time I have to pee? Poop yes, I go 200 and burry it good but imagine what the trail would look like if everybody walked through 100 feet of vegetation every time they pee. I know I pee at least 10-15 times a day and easily over 20 in the summer. It would look like game trails off in every direction if people did that.

    sorry if I sound negative, I'm all about LNT but I beg to differ with a few things that some people consider LNT.
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  17. #17

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    Native americans were known for having perfect teeth, pre exposure to european diet
    As are indigenous people

    Once exposed to our refined sugar and carb diet, they suffer same problems. Health and dental.
    Funny how they had no toothbrush, aint it?

    Also funny how brushing and flouride dont eliminate cavities....at all. One would think cavities rare today with all the brushing, flossing, cleanings, flouride treatments, fluorinated water, fluoride toothpaste, etc.

    The truth is, the outside of tooth has little to do with teeth health

    Its mostly diet.

    Which is why very common for pregnant women to get cavities. They didnt quit brushing, baby took nutrients.

    Lightest toothbrush.....would be none.
    But native americans did chew a twig to shred one end to clean teeth with.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 11-21-2018 at 20:27.

  18. #18

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    I have nasty morning taste, so I do use a small amount of paste. I go off trail in the morning, dig a small cathole, and rinse and spit in the hole. I spit the rinse on the brush and that cleans it enough for me since I only go out 5 or 6 days a stretch.

    I also take floss
    The older I get, the faster I hiked.

  19. #19

    Default

    Sorry,but I consider toothpaste spit on the ground to be second only to toilet paper on the "gross" scale.That's why I switched over to salt and soda and swallow it because I figure I need the salt anyway.And I always pack out my paper too...and,no,I do not consider myself a tree hugger.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    Sorry,but I consider toothpaste spit on the ground to be second only to toilet paper on the "gross" scale.That's why I switched over to salt and soda and swallow it because I figure I need the salt anyway.And I always pack out my paper too...and,no,I do not consider myself a tree hugger.
    Uh, I didn't say I spit in on the ground.
    The older I get, the faster I hiked.

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