The summer holidays are upon us and many of people are packing their suitcases to go on holiday. According to National Smile Month, a toothbrush is the number one thing we can’t do without when we go on holiday, fortunately it is one thing we can usually replace if we forget it.
So if you’ve arrived at destination and realised that your toothbrush is still at home, here’s our handy guide to buying a replacement in different countries! Read on if you want to know what to do if you can’t get a new toothbrush straightaway…
How To Say: ‘I Need A Toothbrush’
Spanish: Necesito un cepillo de dientes.
French: J’ai besoin d’une brosse à dents.
German: Ich brauche eine Zahnbürste.
Italian: Ho bisogno di spazzolino da denti.
Japanese: ha-burashi ga hoshii desu.
Russian: mnyeh nooh-ZHNAH ZOOB-nuh-yuh SHCHYOHT-kuh
Of course, Google Translate comes in very handy when you’re traveling and need to find a word or phrase for something!
It is unlikely that most British holidaymakers will find it difficult to find a replacement toothbrush while they’re away from home. If you’re not sure how to ask for one in most cases you can just visit a supermarket or chemist and pick one up or point them out. However, the more intrepid traveller may find they’re in a region where tooth brushing with a conventional toothbrush is not so common, or perhaps you’re in an isolated area with no access to a shop.
What To Do If You Forget Your Toothbrush
Some ingenious societies do not have a culture of brushing their teeth because they don’t have a Western diet high in sugar and processed foods. Tooth decay and gum disease are not an issue as the bacteria that combines with sugary and acidic foods to create plaque and tartar, doesn’t have anything to feed on because of their healthy diet.
In these societies, teeth cleaning may involve using a twig to rub tooth surfaces clean and pick food particles from between the teeth. Often the tree the twig comes from has antiseptic and antioxidant properties such as the arak tree used by Arab Bedouin tribes. In other cultures teeth cleaning may involve rubbing your teeth with charcoal, ash or even mud to remove bacteria and food particles.
So, if you’ve forgotten your toothbrush, and can’t get hold of one immediately, what should you do?
3 Ways To Brush Your Teeth Without A Toothbrush
- Fabric: if you have something like a flannel or a paper towel that has a slightly textured surface you can wrap it around your finger and brush your teeth with it. Avoid any fabrics with a very rough surface that might damage the tooth enamel. Make sure you brush your gums as well as your teeth to remove bacteria from effectively.
- Sugarless Chewing Gum: chewing gum will encourage your mouth to produce salvia, which protects your teeth and gums. It also helps to wash away the bacteria and dislodge food particles from between your teeth. The minty taste will give you that ‘fresh breath’ sensation you may also be missing.
- Water: Rinsing your mouth with water is a very effective way to remove food particles and wash away bacteria. If you have access to salt you can make up a saline solution to use as a mouthwash: only use once per day as the salt water can damage your teeth if used too often.
These methods will help tied you over until you can buy a replacement toothbrush, but if this is going to take more than a few days you should also think about your diet. As I shared earlier those societies who don’t use conventional toothbrushes often have a very good diet that excludes sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates.
While we could all benefit from reducing these foods in our Western diets, if you are struggling to keep on top of your oral care it is even more important to cut out sugary food, acidic fizzy drinks etc. After all you want to come back from your holidays with happy memories and stories to tell, not cavities or gum disease!