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What do you do to keep up your oral health? Do you make a point of brush and floss every day? If so, good for you—but what would you do if you found your toothpaste tube empty one day and weren’t able to get more right away? As you can probably guess, you shouldn’t just avoid brushing. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do in a pinch.

Mouthwash is one option you should consider. As you may know, mouthwash can fight off cavities, bad breath, gingivitis, and even wash away food particles. However, please remember that, while using mouthwash is better than nothing, please don’t plan on replacing brushing.

Similarly, if you find yourself out of toothpaste and mouthwash, you can also rinse out your mouth with hydrogen peroxide. However, please remember to mix the hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water. Also, please do not swallow hydrogen peroxide. If you would like to brush, you can also use baking powder—which is a safe alternative that is also included in many toothpastes.

Another option you may want to consider is chewing on gums or herbs. In fact, if you chew on certain herbs—such as mint, rosemary, sage, and thyme—you can freshen your breath. In fact, the chewing motion promotes saliva flow, which is useful because saliva can carry bad bacteria and excess food particles from your mouth. While these options are good temporary replacements, please don’t try to use them instead of toothpaste permanently.

Finally, to enjoy a healthy smile, please remember to visit a dentist once every six months for a routine cleaning and checkup. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Kathleen Tantuco, please don’t hesitate to contact Vernon Woods Dental Care Associates at 404-692-7913. We will gladly answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you soon.