How to Keep Your Teeth Clean Without a Toothbrush or Toothpaste

Chew_Stick

In a world without a dentist, you know that keeping your teeth clean and cavity-free is an extremely important part of your overall hygiene. Many people stockpile toothbrushes and toothpaste, or seek out recipes for toothpaste that can be made out of more natural ingredients like baking soda. The problem with these methods is that eventually the materials needed run out. Baking soda doesn’t grow on trees, after all, and once your toothpaste is gone your brushing will be much less effective. What is really needed is a 100% natural and easily renewable source of brushing materials so you can always have some available even if you are in a long-term collapse.

Enter the chew stick

Chew sticks are an ancient method of keeping your teeth clean. In areas where old traditions are strong, many people still use them today.

Chew sticks are an ancient method of keeping your teeth clean. In areas where old traditions are strong, many people still use them today.

Fortunately, history provides us with an answer to this problem. Many older societies used a simple chewing stick made from trees with antimicrobiall properties to keep their teeth clean. Indeed, the tradition of using a chew stick was so pervasive that many tribal religions included brushing with specific sacred trees in daily ritual. Although this method lost favor with the Europeans who passed down their use of “salt and soda” to much of the modern world, chew sticks are considered to be quite viable even by modern science. Not only does the antimicrobial content of the stick work to kill various disease-causing organisms, the chewing and subsequent brushing is typically much more thorough than the quick toothbrush scrub we tend to give our teeth every day.

For preppers the chew stick also has the advantage of being renewable and easily made even by children. Not only that, but the sticks are also great for scouts or a group that is bugging out, since it can be thrown away after a single use and it won’t give you away as easily as a brightly colored piece of plastic. The fact that you don’t need toothpaste also allows you to keep that baking soda and salt for other purposes.

How to make one for yourself

As I mentioned, a chew stick is extremely simple to make. The hardest part when starting out is finding the proper tree, since you don’t want to accidentally chew up a tree that could irritate your gums or cause your throat to swell up.

Here’s a list of a few of the best chewing trees found commonly in North America.

Sassafras is well known as the originator for root beer, but it can also be a great taste when brushing your teeth.

Sassafras is well known as the originator for root beer, but it can also be a great taste when brushing your teeth.

  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Sassafras
  • Birch
  • Oak
  • Sweetgum

These trees should be avoided, as they are poisonous if chewed:

  • Oleander
  • Yew
  • Holly
  • Chinaberry
  • Manchineel
  • Physic nut
  • Strychnine

Beginning the chewing

You want your stick to look something like this once you're done chewing.

You want your stick to look something like this once you’re done chewing.

Once you’ve found your tree, break off a small twig ( if you have time, to keep the tree healthy try to trim the twigs with shears as close to the tree trunk as possible) and peel off the bark about an inch or so from the top of the twig with your fingers. I don’t recommend using a knife here, if only to keep metal contamination to a minimum. Once you have a bark-free area to chew, wash it off to remove dirt and other nasties. Then, begin chewing the twig on the debarked area, trying to loosen the tough fibers and loosen it into a brushlike shape. This can take a few minutes, so feel free to move about and get some basic work done while you’re chewing. Although you’ve been trained to stand next to a sink when using a toothbrush, a chew stick has no such requirements!

Time for brushing! 

Use small circular motions when brushing and be extremely gentle until you get the hang of it.

Use small circular motions when brushing and be extremely gentle until you get the hang of it.

Once the twig has been thoroughly chewed into the proper shape (usually takes about 5-10 minutes), begin brushing your teeth with extremely gentle circular motions. If you’re used to a toothbrush, try to back off a bit on the pressure you’d normally use and just brush slowly and gently. Work it around your whole mouth and try to touch the areas where the gums meet the teeth. Feel free to spit as necessary, though it generally shouldn’t be needed. Once you’re done, trim the whole debarked area off and store your new toothbrush in a clean place until you need to use it again. Replace the stick when you don’t have enough of a handle left to bush with.

The results

If you are patient and take the time to chew and brush thoroughly, you will have killed or brushed off the majority of cavity and disease-causing organisms. Not only that, but your breath will have acquired a fresh aroma depending on the type of tree you chewed. Provided you brushed gently, you should have avoided putting any splinters in your gums or causing any kind of discomfort. Best of all, you’ve used one of the most renewable resources on the planet and you probably found a good stick source in your own yard.

 

In a world without dentists, oral hygiene is extremely important. Good thing that chew sticks are so easy to use and also extremely effective!

 

Your thoughts?

I know that chewing on a stick probably isn’t very appetizing, but what do you think? Would you start chewing now rather than using toothpaste, or is this going to be a last resort for you? Share with us in the comments!

Please Share !
Never Miss A Post

Speak Your Mind

*