During my travel I forgot to bring my toothpaste and I just noticed it in a time where it is impossible to buy toothpaste, are there any other things that I can use assuming that I have my toothbrush, but I don't have toothpaste?

Most of the time I will do one of the following:

  1. Borrow some toothpaste - This isn't always an option because sometimes I travel alone, and it is rude if I ask someone to lend me their toothpaste.
  2. I'll just gargle - This is a no no! I just do this if I am desperate.

6 Answers 6


Here is what I use with qoutes from livingthenourishedlife.com:

  • Baking Soda - If mixed with salt it works even better and it is natural and can whiten teeth.

    like sea salt, you can just dip your toothbrush in baking soda and brush like normal. Or you can dissolve it in water first and use the brine for brushing (just like the sea salt). A lot of people use baking soda as a base for homemade tooth powder. You mix it with a few drops of peppermint essential oil and stevia to give your mouth a minty fresh feel.

    just dab your toothbrush in sea salt and brush away as usual. Concerned about abrasion? Me, too. You can also dissolve the salt in water first and then dip your brush in the saltwater before brushing.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide - This is more of a mouth wash, but you can brush with it to. It helps periodontal disease.

    Hydrogen peroxide is known for keeping teeth clean and white, and many people use it instead of toothpaste. Jessica on Facebook suggests, “Dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide and then in a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and fine sea salt.” The only potential problem with hydrogen peroxide is if you have amalgam fillings: peroxide may leach mercury from your fillings.

  • Natural Soaps - Sure these work, but they may have a nasty taste, make sure they are natural. I use castille.

    Yes, you can brush your teeth with soap. I’ve tried this one a few times, and while it does work, it also tastes pretty, well, soapy. Not exactly the natural toothpaste experience I was looking for personally. But if you decide to try it, trying a natural soap like peppermint castile soap.

  • Dry brushing or using just water - These are unfavourable because the nice flavour is not there, but if you floss all bases are covered. Uses teas like peppermint might help, though.

    doesn't get much more simple than this. Tired of looking for a natural toothpaste alternative? According to some, there’s no need to use anything at all: dry brushing does the job. But while it does seem to work well enough, there’s no minty mouth feel (like we’re all used to, of course) and might feel a little strange.

  • Oil Pulling - This is when you take oil a move it around in your mouth, in my opinion this is not the best.

    Basically you swish about one tablespoon of oil (I use coconut oil) for several minutes. Then brush with plain water or use one of the methods listed above.

Additional Info

GoodHouse Keeping.com

You can use baking soda or both baking soda and salt. These ingredients are in a lot of natural toothpastes.

Weleda's Salt Toothpaste uses sea salt and baking soda to reduce tartar buildup, and myrrh extract to promote healthy gums. It also comes in Calendula and Ratanhia flavors.

wellness mama .com

If you left both your toothbrush and toothpaste you can use a washcloth to rub your teeth and gums clean (with the alternative toothpaste) and floss appropriately.

  • I've also heard you can, in a pinch, rub fresh strawberries on your teeth; this isn't a good long-term solution though!
    – L.B.
    Jan 31, 2015 at 16:35
  • @L.B. Good thinking! Maybe with some supportive information you can make a answer out of this. I would definitely upvote, especially if you could find some more food based alternative.
    – Pobrecita
    Feb 1, 2015 at 21:01
  • I will see what I can find!
    – L.B.
    Feb 2, 2015 at 0:12
  • 1
    I've never used toothpaste on a regular basis. Just put some water on the brush and then go at it. I usually rinse the brush off and spit every 25 seconds or so.
    – Phil
    Dec 9, 2015 at 2:01
  • It's good to note that hydrogen peroxide concentration must be below 1%! Hydrogen peroxide is strong oxidiser and can cause immediate sin burns at concentration above 10%. Mar 9, 2016 at 9:57

Your body was already built with this hack! The ancient Romans used their own urine for both toothpaste and mouthwash. While this might sound like a bad idea, urine is high in ammonia, which fights cavities. Your body doesn't have any use for this, so it gets rid of it through your urine. But your teeth absolutely love it (almost as much as fluoride) and it does a good job dealing with some nasty microorganisms.

It is a common belief that urine is also hygienic and sterile. So long as you don't have any ureal conditions, human urine is sterile when it exits your body. It does quickly become unsterile though. So you should use it as soon as possible, since many bacteria outside your body like to inhabit your urine.

According to other new researches (Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Frontiers) urine is not sterile, but sometimes there may be healthy or unhealthy mixture of bacteria.

Definitely don't swallow your urine; this will probably do nothing in the near term but if you do it repeatedly it can cause all sorts of bad things to happen with your kidneys.

Note that this will make your breath smell a bit. If you're going to do this around other people, you may want to pop a breath mint or at least gargle some water afterwards. The Romans had different cultural views on the scent of urine, and so that wasn't an issue for them.

  • 1
    This seems to be legit Dec 14, 2014 at 23:11
  • 1
    Could you add some sources to why this is true and could you define "all sorts of bad things to happen to your kidneys".
    – Pobrecita
    Dec 14, 2014 at 23:27
  • 4
    I won't DV or flag, because this is a real answer, with a surprisingly good explanation of how it works.....but really!?!?
    – Shokhet
    Dec 15, 2014 at 15:19
  • 4
    Urine is NOT STERILE! Seriously, nothing NOTHING (With uber-capitals nothing) on you is sterile. Ever. (Except for that, the answer is good +1) Dec 22, 2014 at 11:46
  • 1
    How on earth did the Romans figure this... Ya know what? Honestly, I really don't want to know!
    – Sidney
    Apr 20, 2017 at 18:17

Sprinkle baking soda over your wet toothbrush. Then use a fluoride rinse if you have it.

Baking soda is an ingredient in several varieties of toothpaste, and is a good "next best" option.

If you don't have that, brushing with plain water is still more beneficial than not brushing at all.


Chew a sugar-free gum

Briefly, chewing gum removes food particles and increases saliva production. The latter helps clearing away food and bacteria and decreases the acidity of your mouth. Some gums (in particular dental gums) may also contain flourid and other stuff usually found in toothpaste. The main aspect where chewing gums fail is the mechanical cleansing of some areas, but then you still have your toothbrush for this.

For sources and further reading, see in particular this Skeptics question.

According to the German Wikipedia page, even sugar-containing gum can have positive effects when chewed long enough, as the sugar gets removed after a few minutes. Though I cannot find any backup for this, it makes some sense and complies with my gustatory experience.


Use the twigs of this plant : Azadirachta indica in simple English, it is called Neem. Easy identification: look for leaf shape (in image) and leaf length is no more than 6-7 cm. Smells slightly bitter.

enter image description here

Has excellent medicinal and germicidal qualities. It is still used as a common substitute for toothpaste in India, Asia.

Image source: Google


You don't really need toothpaste to wash your teeth. While many types of toothpaste do have some additives (such as fluoride) that can help keep your teeth healthy in the long term, the immediate benefit of using toothpaste is mostly that it acts as a foaming agent, helping to wet your teeth and wash away the plaque more effectively than saliva alone would.

The trick for washing your teeth without toothpaste is to take a sip of water before doing it. You don't need a lot, just enough that you can tilt your head to the side you're washing to keep the teeth and bristles wet. Obviously, try to keep your lips closed around the brush handle while doing this, so that you don't splash the water everywhere. (This is generally considered good manners, anyway.)

There are some places that can be a little tricky to wash this way, but mostly it just takes a little practice. For the front side of the front teeth, it may help to gently suck in air while washing them, to avoid spilling the water out of your mouth. For best results, do one quick wash, spit out the water, take another sip and do a second, more thorough pass.

(One nice side effect of this method is that you can see exactly how much gunk and bacteria you're washing out of your mouth. Having learned this trick while travelling, I like to use it even when I have toothpaste, just to rinse out all the dirt that toothpaste alone won't get fully out of your mouth.)

  • The physical action of the brushing is more beneficial than any additional material such as toothpaste. The brushing need not be aggressive. 30 seconds of mild to moderate stimulation for each tooth is sufficient.
    – Stan
    May 30, 2016 at 20:31

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