How do you brush your teeth?

I have to take a toothbrush and tooth paste with me when I head out on the trail. Whether it’s an overnight trip or a week long trip, I gotta fight that morning breath! I typically carry a travel size tube of toothpaste along with some sort of toothbrush.

Some of my main concerns for a toothbrush is that it is long enough for me not to have to stick my fingers in my mouth when brushing my teeth and that I am able to keep the brush clean. I have used regular toothbrushes, folding toothbrushes, small toothbrushes with a storage cap on the end and even the Colgate Wisps. But my newest addition is the Aurelle TOOB Brush which I picked up from REI for $5.50. So, here is a little video which shows the different toothbrushes I have used…

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
This entry was posted in Gear, Teeth Stuff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to How do you brush your teeth?

  1. Patrick says:

    I like these brushes since it’s a “all-in-one” kind of deal, and the fact that the heads can be replaced when the bristles become exhausted. My only complaint is how stiff/hard the bristles feel on my gums.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Patrick,

      I have read other reviews of the bristles being hard too. I tend to buy all of my toothbrushes with a soft head, so I hope it isn’t too bad. Thanks for the input.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  2. JERMM says:

    Stick- I see you live in MS, if the humidity is high there like here in GA the tooth paste dots may take several days to dry, unlike when you drop some in the sink and it hardens over almost immediately. I advise putting it someplace out of the way to dry, I use the top of my refrigerator and be patient.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Thanks for the heads up. I went and picked up some paste last night but haven’t had the chance to make the dots yet. I will though.

      Like

  3. Charles says:

    Stick,
    Great video dude!! Did the little tube of toothpaste full the tube on the brush?Thanks HS

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Charles,

      I am not sure what you mean, but the tube of toothpaste fits perfectly inside the handle of the toothbrush. When I am ready to use it I simply slide it out of the handle and use it like an ordinary tube of toothpaste, recap it and then reinsert it into the handle. The toothpaste will not automatically flow through the toothbrush and squirt out into the head of the toothbrush. I will show it too you next time I see you.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  4. Tony says:

    I have one of those travel tooth brushes from REI. I buy tooth soap from Cheeky Maiden, cut it down to little shards. I put the shards into a little pill container I got from BPL. This is a great system, but the little pill container has popped open on me a couple times.

    Like

  5. buckeyeblueduck says:

    Looks like I may try out the TOOB brush with toothpaste dots. I’m not an ultralighter by any means, but there may be some weight savings by taking out the refillable tube. It looks like that may not be possible though?
    Thanks for posting your thoughts, its been timely as its been the second post I’ve seen recently about hygiene. The other was about making dots at http://jjmatheshikes.blogspot.com/2011/04/toothpaste-dots.html#more

    Like

    • Stick says:

      BuckEye,

      The toothpaste tube will indeed come out of the TOOB toothbrush and it does not require it to be replaced to use the actual toothbrush. However, when I measured the tube, it is 0.2 oz, so there is no big weight savings there, but there is savings none-the-less! But, IMO, instead of removing the tube and only using the toothbrush part, there are definitely lighter toothbrushes. The plastic housing of the toothbrush is where all the weight comes into play.

      Thanks for the link to that blog, and making dots does seem like a winner. I will have to try that out tonight. I think that I have some paste (not gel). I just wonder how it does in heat. I wonder if it will begin to melt…

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • JERMM says:

      Hey Stick- give the dots a try, they’re UL and easy to use. Don’t worry about them melting, mine will sometimes get kinda mashed together, I just bite off a little bit and start brushing.

      http://jjmatheshikes.blogspot.com/2011/04/toothpaste-dots.html

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Jermm,

      I plan to do so, I just gotta get the paste…I tried it with some gel last night, and you are right, it doesn’t work to well…Thanks for the post though, great stuff and really am looking forward to trying them out!

      Thanks,

      ~Stick~

      Like

  6. Hey Stick,

    I feel like this is one of those topics that I spent entirely too much time on trying to reduce pack weight and find my own comfort zone. I’ve tried everything you’ve mentioned to include using toothpaste powder (rough on gums) and dehydrated toothpaste (the rehydrading part isn’t overly exciting). I’ve tried just about every size and shaped toothbrush too, to include toothbrush-like gimmicks (Wisp). In the end, it’s not going to make too much of a difference to your teeth in the SHORT term. So the decision you make is entirely dependent on how long you’ll be on the trail. For me, because most of my trips are short, I use a finger toothbrush and some Dr. Bronners. I didn’t think I’d like the finger toothbrush because I thought I wouldn’t want my dirty hands in my mouth. The reality is that the right finger toothbrush and long enough fingers keeps everything sanitary. I also like the fact that I can completely dry the finger toothbrush versus keeping a slightly wet, and eventually to mold, conventional toothbrush. The brushing action is more important in the short term than anything else, so what can be used really comes down to your own preference. I just use Dr. Bronners because it’s a catch-all, one which I use also to watch clothing in bags when necessary where not getting all the soap out won’t matter much. It’s find for general clean-up of “me” and doesn’t spoil the environment. For longer trips, and I think responsible flouride use, I either dehydrate tooth paste or bring a travel-sized tube. Of equal importance is the need to be environmentally sensitive with whatever decision you choose.

    Good luck – but don’t lose your mind over this one. And despite those that may say otherwise, cutting a regular brush handle doesn’t make you a zealot. It makes you sensible about weight and packable-sized stuff unless you cut it so small that it isn’t functional. For too long I didn’t want to be accused of being too over committed, but it’s just a smarter choice when you’ve been in the game a while.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Green Giant,

      I haven’t really done much fretting over my toothbrushes (despite the video) up to this point. IMO, it is already such a minimum weight and regardless I will carry something, so I just don’t see where I could make huge improvements. However, I happened to come across the TOOB brush the other day and put it in with my order. This video is really my way of showing everyone this neat little toothbrush that I found, however, in my videos I typically like to tell how I came to a certain point, so I included my other toothbrushes.

      I have thought about the finger brushes, but I am picturing a tiny little thimble sized rubber brush…maybe I am wrong…I will have to goggle it…I have also bought some of the peppermint flavored Dr Bronners and need to try brushing my teeth with it to see if I can handle it on the trail… I figure that if I can handle the taste of the Dr Bronners, then that and one of my toothbrushes that weigh 0.2 oz would be my lightest option…(is this fretting? 🙂 )

      I haven’t been in the game as long as you have, but already, I must admit that I am getting to where I do make notes of all my items, and like to find where I can cut them. As far as the whole UL thing, I have been trying not to be classified as that, and with my weights, I am not quite there anyway. Mostly though I think because of my luxury items. I know I can have my summer gear at around 8 pounds if I would just leave a few things off, but I guess this is where more time is probably the key to me leaving those items behind. I will admit, it is fun having a low pack weight.

      Anyway, I am getting carried away.

      As always, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Philip Werner (EarlyLite) at Sectionhiker.com did a nice write-up about the Toob brush a while ago. I have one too which I intially used for travel, but when airlines required everything to be put in a quart bag it was just a little too long for the bag along with everything else. So alas, it sits. It’s a little too much for me to bring backpacking, but to each his own. But yes, the finger brushes are exactly what you described. They come in all different sizes and I was turned off from them initially until I found one in the infant isle of, I think, Walmart which came down to my first knucle. I’m guessing it’s nearly 2 full inches in length, which is really pretty long. Good luck.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Green Giant,

      I will have to go and check out Phillips review of the TOOB brush. Thanks. I will also browse around the infant isle next time I find myself at Wal-Mart. Thanks for the tip.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  7. Jake Willits says:

    I have been using the Colgate Wisp myself, but on trips longer than 2 nights, I still take a real toothbrush. I just found a generic kids brush from Walgreens. The dots work fine, but I haven’t switched to them completely either. I am looking for a small bottle for Dr. Bronners for this purpose. Thanks for bringing it up, because I haven’t wanted to mention the Wisps on my own blog. Scared people would think I was un-hygienic.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Jake,

      I think that the Wisp are better than nothing, but they just didn’t suit me. If they work for some one else, that is cool with me! 🙂 I did just buy some Dr Bronners in the peppermint flavor though, and I need to try brushing my teeth with it at home before I rely on using it in the field. I have heard it will work, but it is not the best tasting…

      ~Stick~

      Like

  8. David Byrge says:

    Hey Stick!

    Another great review! I use this same setup, Aurelle TOOB Brush from REI. It works for me and I also don’t want to have to cram my whole hand down my mouth to try and get the back of my teeth with the other options. Happy hiking!

    Like

    • Stick says:

      David,

      That is good to hear that the TOOB brush works for you. I just got it the other day but haven’t used it yet. I really like how it is so compact though. I also like that I can fill it before I head out with toothpaste I already have and then wash it out when I get back.

      ~Stick~

      Like

Leave Your Comment Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s