Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Dental Care in A SHTF Scenario

Dental care is probably one of the least romantic topics of preparing for a disaster, but really important. A tooth abscess can lead to osteomyeiltis (bone infection) and death. Over the last six years I've stored toothpaste and all the other essentials for dental care for my own experiments. Of course, I've maintained the biannual check up and cleaning during this period since it's still available.

Toothpaste: The past six years it seems that the regular Colgate/Crest has stored the best. I also stored Mint Zing Colgate toothpaste that has a mint oil infused into the toothpaste, but that separated from the mixture. It can be fixed by massaging the tube before opening which seemed to remedy the problem. I would recommend buying the no frills Crest or Colgate for long term storage needs since that seemed to work best for me. I usually use about a tube of toothpaste every 3 months. Doing the math, four tubes will last me a year, and 20 tubes will be enough toothpaste for 5 years. I can find the toothpaste on sale for $1.00 a tube, so that's $20 total.

Toothbrush: The toothbrush doesn't have a shelf life, so catch your favorite on sale and stock up for 5 years worth. It is currently recommended to replace your toothbrush every 3 months, so 20 would get you the recommended amount. I personally think that the replacement rate is too often, but having too many is a good problem to have in a SHTF scenario. $20 will cover you for 5 years. Replace your toothbrush or boil/steam for five minute after being sick to reduce the risk of reinfecting yourself.

Floss: Floss also doesn't have an expiration date, so stock up at your next sale. I try to floss at least twice a day, but one should at the minimum floss at least once a day. I would also suggest in a SHTF scenario to step up your dental care and floss at least three times a day. The floss sticks work really well for kids! I would suggest 5 packets per year per person for the dental floss. Again, stock up when they go on sale and save!

Dental Pick and Mirror: Perhaps something really over looked that a person can do to improve their dental care is to spend about 5 minutes per week and use a dental pick, scaler, and mirror to clean those hard to reach places, and between the teeth. Over the course of a 5 year period, I would recommend 2 or 3 per person. Walgreens has them for sale for about $6.00, but I bought mine at the dollar store for $1.00. I should have bought more when I saw them.

Kids will need help, so add some latex gloves or remember to wash your hands before and after cleaning their teeth.

Dental Extractor: Sorry folks, the pliers in the shop will not do a proper job of tooth removal. This is the most drastic, and hopefully unused tool in your kit. Better info here at Doom and Bloom.

A person can equip (minus extractor) themselves for a full year of excellent dental care for about $16.00-$25.00. Remember to wait for sales to stock up. I keep all of my supplies in 2 small plastic totes with the oldest supplies on top of the other one. First items into the tote are the first ones used.

Keep Right On Prepping - K


  1. Somewhere around here I have that book "where there is no dentist." I need to get it out and review it.

    Like you, I store basic dental hygiene materials. Don't have things like extractors, though.

    1. The key to a good oral health is prevention.