Forgetting your toothbrush—it happens to all of us at one point or another. Maybe you’re on vacation and forgot to pack it, you’ve just had lunch at work or school, or maybe even have an event to go to and can’t stop home. Either way, you’ll want to look and feel confident in your smile and that simple brain lapse is preventing you from feeling so.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums with braces requires regular brushing and flossing, but in an emergency, here are a few ways you can clean your teeth and braces without a toothbrush:

Rinse Your Mouth

When you’re in a pinch and you need fresh breath and clean teeth, use mouthwash. Vigorously rinsing your mouth with mouthwash will effectively rid your mouth of the bacteria that cause bad breath. In the event that you also don’t have mouthwash at your disposal, use water to dislodge any food that may be caught in your brackets.


Flossing is also a valuable tool when you find yourself without a toothbrush. Because food and sugar get trapped in your brackets when you eat, flossing is essential to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, especially when going without a toothbrush.

Avoid Sugars

Sugary snacks and drinks are not good for your teeth, especially when you have braces. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and can also cause bad breath. To keep your breath fresh when going without a toothbrush, be sure to avoid all types of sugar.

Because you can’t truly clean your braces without brushing, these are only temporary solutions. Be sure to properly floss and brush your teeth as soon as possible to ensure that you maintain the health of your teeth and gums.