Dental Hygiene

Brushing Teeth

Many may find this hard to believe, but the simple act of brushing your teeth and flossing to keep your mouth healthy can mean the difference to your overall body health. There are many reports that link dental health to a person’s general overall health. According to these reports bad dental hygiene can lead to…..

  • Heart disease – The bacteria in your mouth can travel to your heart, possibly causing heart attacks.
  • Endocarditis – If the bacteria gets to your heart, it can cause inflammation of the heart inner linings.
  • Stroke – The bacteria potentially causes the artery’s walls to narrow and increased risk of blood clots.
  • Inflammation – Inflamed gums can lead to a general inflammation.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – The added inflammation can compound the inflammation issues of arthritis.
  • Lung Condition – People suffering from COPD or pneumonia may have a worse case of it due to bacteria in the lungs.

The best way to prevent dental problems is to brush at least twice a day and floss every day. This means it’s important to have a toothbrush or 2 and dental floss in your BOB, at your BOL, or in your inventory of goods. You don’t even have to use toothpaste to get some benefit from brushing your teeth, although it helps. If you don’t have a toothbrush or floss, what can you use as an alternative?

Instead of a toothbrush you can use…….

  • Paper towel – Simply wrap it around your finger, dampen it, add toothpaste if you have it and brush.
  • Washcloth – Same process as the paper towel.
  • Stick/Twig – Find a young smallish twig with no real bark on it, just a thin skin. Peel all of the skin off and chew on one end. Chewing will separate the fibers in the stick and make a toothbrush. Brush like normal.
  • Some fruits – The old saying an apple a day, keeps the doctor away has some truth. Fruits like Apples, Carrots, and Celery can help clean your teeth.

Instead of floss use……

  • Fishing line – If you use fishing line make sure it is clean and has not been in the water. A quick wipe with an alcohol wipe would be a good idea.
  • Toothpick – Not the best, but in a pinch a toothpick is better than nothing to get between the teeth. These can be made from a tree branch.
  • Sinew – Some people may be grossed out now, but there are many tendons in animals that have narrow ends that are perfect for getting between teeth.
  • Thread – Doesn’t work as smoothly as floss, but it is small enough to work.

Not something that is discussed much that I see, but dental health can be a key player in you and your family staying healthy. If the SHTF and you’re doing more camp cooking you may be eating stringer things, which will get between teeth. Brushing and flossing will help get that debris out and help keep your mouth healthy. This in turn will help keep you healthy.

Stay active, pay attention, and get prepared.

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