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#90780 - 02/20/08 11:34 AM Oral Hygiene in the backcountry
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
I carry dental floss and use it regularly from my shower kit. it makes ok sewing thread when you need to make a simple repair too.

I also carry some dental painkliller and putty that can be used if one loses a tooth or filling in the backcountry <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> You have to have had dental pain to understand <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Brushing teeth frequently in the backcountry is also a part of my daily hygeine. Oral hygiene is as important to your health as filtering your water IME. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> < I had too <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#90781 - 02/20/08 11:48 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Earthling]
EricKingston Offline
member

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 272
Loc: Michigan
For any ordinary excursion, I only bring a collapsable toothbrush with regualr toothpaste, a placker, and a mirror. If I ever go on a through-hike, then I would definitely bring along a real dental pick (like what your hygentists uses), but modified/cut in half, so it doesn't weigh so much! I'm a real stickler when it comes to my teeth, and there's no way to remove that plaque with ordinary brushing and flossing. I use dental picks at home about once a month. I would do the same on the trail.

Eric

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#90782 - 02/20/08 04:28 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Earthling]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
If it's just an overnighter I bring a toothbrush but no dentrifice. I still brush, but I read an article by a dentist who said your teeth won't fall out if you skip toothpaste for a day or two.

I don't use a dentrifice when water is scarce. I brush with water only and swallow it. It takes less water to rinse off the brush too.

I always carry floss for my teeth and as emergency repair thread.

If I really want to wallow in the lap of luxury I carry a small travel size (2 ounces?) container of mouthwash.

Slight hijack alert (sorry Earthling):

Has anyone ever tried one of these? Lighter/smaller than a full toothbrush but I would want to wash my hands very well before using one especially after I poo in the morning. I tend to use my dominant hand for everything if you get my drift <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#90783 - 02/20/08 05:29 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Trailrunner]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Quote:
Has anyone ever tried one of these? Lighter/smaller than a full toothbrush


These "finger toothbrushes" are commonly used in prisons (So I am told. Really!). You can't file a "shank" from them. The folks at BackpackingLight recommend their use. I can see the value of a minor weight difference from a more traditional sawed-off toothbrush but as you pointed out -- wash your hands first. Knowing me, I would be more inclined to boil my hands first. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> I think I'll just stick with my old brush and accept the 5 gram weight penalty. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
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May I walk in beauty.

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#90784 - 02/20/08 06:58 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Pika]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Those things are too gimmicky for me, I'd rather brush with water as TR does than stick my fingers in my mouth and possibly get myself sick on the trail <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

I use dental powder to brush with as it's lighter and easier to carry IME. I also use baking soda at times on the trail to brush. Flossing passes the time in camp especially if I need a rest day or some time waiting for others to catch up <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Hey TR, it was about oral hygiene so I'm cool thanks <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#90785 - 02/20/08 09:36 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Earthling]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I take a small traveling toothbrush (the brush part stores in the handle), a cut length of floss for each day and a few threaders (I have two fixed bridges). (If I don't cut the floss ahead of time I tend to skip flossing rather than fussing with my knife by headlamp light.) I use baking soda out in the woods--it doesn't leave white spots on the ground like toothpaste, is recommended by my dentist and has lots of other uses (paste for insect bites, deodorant powder). Lighter and cheaper than toothpaste. It is important to be able to reach your back teeth effectively (argument against the fingertip brush or cutting most of your toothbrush handle off) and to maintain good dental hygiene on the trail. The money you save on dentistry will be your own!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#90786 - 02/20/08 09:39 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Earthling]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Ok, first off...I go light.

But not with dental care. When I met my husband I had a "great" set of teeth. Yeah, great for a British person! Lets just say I didn't smile a lot due to every molar in my mouth being full of decay <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> Add in a bad bite and crowded teeth....

Since then my husband's apparent goal is to give me a perfect smile. Or something. Having no decay in my mouth now is great! I have 4 times a year cleanings, (I caught my gum disease barely in time and had deep planing done as well. My gum color is about 4 shades lighter now and healthy), gorgeous crown on a root canal, I have lost 3 molars to decay that had to be pulled....and now wearing braces at 34. Well, yeah..if I don't keep up on it, well I am tossing his money out the window! (When the braces come off I am getting implants for the missing molars.)

Wait! My braces are UL! Heehee. I have 3M Unitek braces made of Ti alloy.

So...what do I carry?

Toothpaste, toothbrush, soft rubber pick, Xmas tree brush for getting under braces, small mirror, dental wax, crown repair kit and floss. I have a feeling I may also be carrying my Sonic care with me as well....ugh. My aching back!! But wow....that brush does AMAZING things for your gums!

Btw...I <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> a lot now. I get asked a LOT by other women about my braces. It is SO important for your heart's health as well. Some women get jewelery or cars. I got dental health <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
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#90787 - 02/21/08 08:35 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Trailrunner]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“Has anyone ever tried one of these? Lighter/smaller than a full toothbrush…”

I bought that finger brush back when GG used to sell them.
They are too soft to my liking. I can’t get the plaque off. I can get my teeth more clean using an Oral B Brushups (Walgreens took over the brand).

For longer hikes, and all my life, I use the hardest bristled brush I can find. This really gets the plaque off. I use it gently on the gums, and that really strengthens the gums. Dentists always say “use a soft toothbrush”. But I can’t get my teeth clean that way. My current dentist says “whatever you’re doing, keep it up!”. Well, I:

1. Use super hard bristled toothbrush with Listerine toothpaste. (use Brushups on 1 or 2 nighters) every night.
2. chew sugarless gum once/day.
3. don’t floss (Yea, I’ve never flossed all my life)
4. visit dentist for cleaning every 6 months (critical step).
5. Be raised on fluoridated water.
6. Don’t do anything to remove the enamel off your teeth; i.e., don’t use whitener.
7. And I will use a plastic toothpick every now and then to yank out that beef jerky <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

My result is I have never had a cavity and I don’t know what it feels like, and I’m a grandpa! Another thing that helped in my youth is I had about 8 permanent teeth pulled to avoid crowding in my small mouth. Then I had braces. So now my teeth have normal spacing. I can thank my parents for starting me off right.


-Barry

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#90788 - 02/21/08 08:38 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: BarryP]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
You can chew on a twig.
Yellow Birch has a natural wintergreen flavour.

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#90789 - 02/22/08 09:16 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: JAK]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I just took an inventory of my dental floss (turns out I have half a dozen almost empty containers) and realized that all I have is mint flavored. Probably not a good idea to take it backpacking, should it be needed for repairs. I can just see a bear going after a mint-flavored tent patch!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#90790 - 02/24/08 05:02 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Earthling]
Paul Offline
member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 778
Loc: California
I use a regular toothbrush ( I get the kid-size to save weight), floss and no toothpaste. I used to use toothpaste and not spit it out so that I wasn't polluting the environment, but then I found out it's bad to ingest the flouride in the toothpaste, and besides it comes out eventually, right? So now I jsut skip the toothpaste and brush extra thoroughly, and floss as well.

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#90791 - 02/25/08 08:24 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: JAK]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“You can chew on a twig.
Yellow Birch has a natural wintergreen flavour.”

How do you clean said twig before putting it in your mouth?
Thanx,
-Barry

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#90792 - 02/25/08 08:48 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: BarryP]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Did Euell Gibbons join the forum when I wasn't looking?

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#90793 - 02/25/08 11:40 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Nope, I've been here all along <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#90794 - 02/25/08 01:34 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: BarryP]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

How do you clean said twig before putting it in your mouth?
Thanx,
-Barry


I never do. any nice green twig I snip off and fuzz with my knife is probably much cleaner than my toothbrush, let alone my mouth. Nachur ain't dirty. You and other people are <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Now, no, I'm not gonna pick up a dry twig lying conviently next to the outhouse in a campground...
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Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
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#90795 - 02/25/08 01:48 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: phat]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> yeah Phat, because we know who that one belongs to <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#90796 - 02/27/08 09:13 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: phat]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“Nachur ain't dirty.”

It’s still psychological knowing that a squirrel urinated on every branch I cut. I still can’t stick the branch in my mouth <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
-Barry

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#90797 - 02/28/08 11:06 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: BarryP]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> I never thought of that BarryP <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> now for the past 35 years I've 'entertained' folks camping with me brushing my teeth with a stick a squirrel peed on <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> Guess that explains my squirreliness here <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#90798 - 02/28/08 11:12 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: BarryP]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
“Nachur ain't dirty.”

It’s still psychological knowing that a squirrel urinated on every branch I cut. I still can’t stick the branch in my mouth <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
-Barry
Little bit o' squirrel u-reen never hurt nobody!

You can use the birch twigs and stick to make tea first, then drink a little tea, then use the birch stick to chew and brush your teeth with the rest of the tea. Birch has a winter green flavour, and its good for you. Other trees can be very good also. Don't know what your missing until you try it. It's all good.

Do you really want to isolate yourself from nature?
Did you know that the bugs in your body outnumber your own cells 10 to 1 ?

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#90799 - 02/28/08 11:32 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: JAK]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />pickin' self up off the floor <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#90800 - 02/29/08 07:06 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: Earthling]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I use a cut-handled toothbrush, 1 Tbs. of baking soda, and a hot a cup of water to brush with each morning on the trail, the same routine I use at home except for the cut-handle. Brushing just isn't the same with cold water. Hot water is a much better solvent than cold and you can feel the difference. I dig a little cat hole to spit in and cover it when I'm finished. That's about as little impact as I can squeeze out of that chore.

Bringing the temporary filling kit is a good idea. They're light and small. I have one in my med kit. I've never used it, but I did save a buddy from certain misery when he had a filling come out on the second day of a three nighter. He was pretty amazed when I pulled it out of my pack.

I never use fluoride. If I get any fluoride at all it's from Florida orange juice (I don't drink much of that) or from what naturally occurs in our county well water (not much there either).

I had friends that lived in Fraiser Park, CA. Their water had so much fluoride they couldn't drink it. That stuff's not good for you.

Bill

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#90801 - 02/29/08 08:02 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: billstephenson]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“Their water had so much fluoride they couldn't drink it. That stuff's not good for you.”


You can tell them they’re fine per CDC standards. http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/
“The safety of water fluoridation at optimal levels (between 0.7 and 1.2 mg/L) has been documented extensively by scientific and public health organizations using thorough review of the scientific literature and expert panels (e.g., U.S. Public Health Service, National Research Council, World Health Organization, Institute of Medicine, and the University of York Center for Research Dissemination).”
“CDC continues to strongly support community water fluoridation as a safe and effective public health measure to prevent and control tooth decay and to improve overall health.”

Illinois and Washington DC best supports the fluoride program.


-Barry

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#90802 - 02/29/08 08:58 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: billstephenson]
EricKingston Offline
member

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 272
Loc: Michigan
I prefer brushing with warm water too.

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#90803 - 02/29/08 10:56 AM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: BarryP]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
You can tell them they’re fine per CDC standards. http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/


Yeah, but I couldn't feel very good about it because there's all this too:

Review of NRC report on Fluoride

There's a lot out there on this subject. It's hard to be sure of what the truth is.

Bill

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#90804 - 02/29/08 12:49 PM Re: Oral Hygiene in the backcountry [Re: billstephenson]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:


I had friends that lived in Fraiser Park, CA. Their water had so much fluoride they couldn't drink it. That stuff's not good for you.

Bill


Tell that to the residents of San Antonio, TX. When I lived their, they voted to supplement the water system with fluoride. Great for the teeth, not good for the rest of ya.
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