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Firstly, it is in your best interest to pick up the reference guide entitled, “Where There is No Dentist,” by Murray Dickson. It will be money well-spent, as it covers all of the different procedures to follow for abscesses, tooth extraction, and other “niceties” of oral care when you will not find a dentist, as the title suggests. A manual such as this is just what your preparedness library needs.
Alternatives to Toothpaste
That being mentioned, what about things such as toothpaste and floss? Well, many of your aromatic mints can be crushed up and used as toothpaste, such as spearmint and peppermint. Follow this up with baking soda, and you’ll find a good clean set of teeth after brushing. Charcoal powder is also an excellent dental cleanser, as well as, a strong salt water solution will also be of use. Cloves, in particular, are good for swollen or abscessed gums, and clove oil itself can be used as a topical analgesic with excellent results and can easily be made.
To Make Clove Oil: Dried cloves can also be chopped up to be placed in a jar with 50% ethyl alcohol. Make sure you cover over the pile of chopped cloves by about ¼ inch. Tightly close the jar, and shake it vigorously several hundred times a day, once in the morning and once at night.
Keep the clove mixture in a cool, dark place, and after two weeks, you’ll have your solution. Cloves contain eugenol, which is both an anesthetic and an antimicrobial. Don’t drink it. Use it as an oral rinse: a more effective one than most supermarket-brand mouthwashes. It can also help to prevent and to aid with swollen gums.
Keep this rule in mind: The main causes of tooth problems are poor nutrition and then poor hygiene.
This does pose a problem, and there are certain foods that can do a number on your teeth. This will be a challenge for you to be able to find not just food, but healthy and nutritious food after a collapse. Vitamin C is necessary to prevent scurvy, a disease of the gums that eventually lead to tooth loss if unchecked. Protein deficiencies are also a big problem that can cause teeth to loosen and gums to rot. Clean water is very important, not just for the care of the teeth, but also to prevent any microorganisms from entering an already unhealthy oral cavity post SHTF. Boil the water for at least 3 to 5 minutes after you have strained and filtered it in every way that you can.
How to Make Your Own Toothbrushes and Floss
Toothbrushes can be fashioned out of sticks with the diameter of a pencil. Notch the ends and then hammer the end, spreading out the wood and softening it somewhat. With these, you’ll have to be a little more careful, as they’re not your “Oral-B” store-bought toothbrushes. Floss can be made from cotton or nylon thread that you can wax beforehand to strengthen it somewhat. Just take the start of your thread and press your thumb on top of it, crushing/pressing it into the wax, and then just pull the thread through. Do this several times to give it a light wax coating that smooths out the thread through the teeth and strengthens the fibers.
Above all else, make sure you have some post-collapse dental supplies. Anything that you can pick up before the disaster is a plus, and you may wish to practice with several of these techniques to find out which are the best for you personally. The reason is that everyone’s mouth is different, and genetically many are predisposed to having either tooth without a long lifespan or other problems. As well, have an understanding of how to mitigate dental pain should something arise in a disaster. Prior to taking any actions here, consult with your friendly, certified, government-approved dentist for his or her friendly approval. Take care of those teeth, and stock up on stuff you need…before the SHTF. JJ out!