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The other morning, I was awoken by my dog licking my face. His hope was to get me to throw his ball at 6 in the morning. He is lucky he’s really cute. What was not cute? His breath. Which, in turn made me realize my breath wasn’t much better. So I moseyed on up to my bathroom sink and found that my wife had used the last of our toothpaste the night before. Sigh… What is a dragon to do?

What did people do before the invention of toothpaste? Well, toothpastes, in one form or another has been used for thousands of years. In fact, ancient Egyptians are believed to have started using a paste to clean their teeth around 5000BC. Well before the first toothbrush was invented.

In 1850 a more traditional paste in a jar was introduced call Crème Dentifrice. Colgate introduced the first toothpaste tub in the 1890’s. Pastes made before 1945 contained soap. I can only imagine kids cursed a lot more back then and this made it easier for their mothers to wash their mouths out. Today’s modern toothpastes are less harsh, have better flavors and are developed to help more specific diseases, such as tooth sensitivity and tartar. Leaving the washing of foul-mouths to bars of soap.

But what is one to do if there is no toothpaste?

Here are 5 alternatives to toothpaste if your significant other has used it all and you want to get rid of the awful breath you have:

  1. Baking Soda

Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of water to make a paste. Spread the paste over your teeth and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then brush your teeth like you normally would. Rinse the baking soda out of your mouth and you’re finished.

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide is used as a natural teeth whitener. You can either use it as a rinse or make a paste by adding it to baking soda.

To make a rinse, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide with water (½ cup hydrogen peroxide to ½ cup of water) and swish the concoction around your mouth for a minute. Try not to swallow any of the mixture.

To make a paste, mix a couple teaspoons of baking soda with a half-teaspoon of peroxide Mix together to make a paste and brush as normal. Thoroughly rise afterwards.

  1. Salt

Salt has long been used as an antibacterial and is an ingredient in a lot of toothpastes. Just dab your toothbrush in salt and brush. This can be a bit abrasive and is not recommended if you have sensitive teeth. You can also dilute the salt in water and use the solution to brush your teeth for a less abrasive paste.

  1. Coconut Oil

A lot of people think coconut oil is a healthy catchall. Others think it’s poison. Some people use it as an alternative to toothpaste by adding baking soda and essential oils, like mint. Figure out where you stand on coconut oil and then give it a try.

  1. Flossing and Dry Brushing

This is what I ended up doing. Of course I floss every night, as one should do. (And no, I do not mean the dance.) So I just grabbed some floss and got to work. Then I ran my toothbrush under water, brushed my teeth for the mandatory 2 minutes and then brushed my tongue.

My bad breath went away and I felt ready for my day of grocery shopping… for more toothpaste.