SHTF emergnecy dental kit for preppers

Prepper’s Emergency Dental Kit Checklist and Why You Need One

While it seems obvious to stockpile first aid supplies for emergencies, not many people have an emergency dental kit (aka “SHTF dental kit”). Even a lot of the “hardcore” preppers I know still don’t have emergency dental supplies beyond some pain reliever and extra tubes of toothpaste.

I’ll be honest: I only recently built my own emergency dental kit.

I’d been delaying it under the thought process that I am clueless about dentistry and wouldn’t know what to do anyway.

It turns out that survival dentistry isn’t as complicated as you might think – so long as you are prepared.

Why Do You Need an Emergency Dental Kit?

In all of the articles I’ve read about emergency dental kits, the reason given is something along the lines of: “Remember that time you had a toothache?”

Yes, toothaches are terribly painful.

But I want more data than this to back up why dental kits are important!

So, I started doing some research on what would happen if SHTF and no dentists (or toothbrushes) were available anymore.

Pain


If SHTF and you weren’t able to brush and floss your teeth every day, plaque would quickly build up on your teeth. Soon, you’d have gingivitis and other periodontal diseases causing severe pain.

Tooth pain means:

  • You won’t be able to eat solid foods
  • You’ll have headaches
  • You will probably have trouble sleeping
  • You won’t be able to think clearly because of the pain and insomnia.

Eventually, you’d have to pull the tooth in order to stop the pain.

I get squeamish at the idea of pulling a tooth without anesthetic. I get even more squeamish if I think of having to pull out my wife’s or daughter’s tooth!

Health Problems


What a lot of people don’t realize is that poor dental health can cause other problems in the body.

Basically, bacterial infections in your mouth can travel to other places and cause infection.

Here are just some of the infections which can occur from bad oral health.

  • Respiratory diseases like pneumonia
  • MRSA
  • Ulcers
  • Brain abscesses

In short, you need to take oral health seriously in your emergency preparedness plans!

(Sources: USA Today, Business Insider, WHO)

Emergency Dental Kit Checklist

This dental kit checklist is for emergencies. It does NOT include everyday hygiene items such as toothpaste and floss.

Of course, prevention is key so you should absolutely stockpile oral care items.

See this List of Non-Food Emergency Items to Stockpile.

*Note that some of these items should already be in your regular first aid kit.

See a Complete First Aid Kit Checklist here.

Or see this Bug Out Bag First Aid Kit Checklist.

How Do I Use the Emergency Dental Kit?

It is pretty easy to rub pain gel on your teeth or even to use temporary dental cement.

However, what if you have to go longer without a dentist?

For those true SHTF situations, you’ll require a bit more in-depth knowledge.

There are two good emergency dental books that I know about. They won’t make you into a dentist, but they will help you prepare for (and avoid) dental emergencies.


This book is made for medical students, including dentistry students. Because of that, the book is a bit dry and reads like a textbook. However, it is really informative.


This emergency dentistry book is written for preppers and survivalists. So, you won’t have all of the medical terminology like in the first book. It isn’t the most well-written book, but it is still full of useful information for coming up with an dental plan for emergencies.

Bonus Tip: Make Your Own Toothbrush

I can’t emphasize how important it is to brush your teeth every day in order to prevent dental emergencies when SHTF.

The problem is that it’s easy to get separated from your toothbrush.

Some of you who regularly read the Primal Survivor blog know that I am following the Syrian war crisis (I’m not wanting to start a political discussion. Rather, I believe that these modern-day disasters can teach us a lot about preparedness!).

When one aid worker went to Syria with a mobile dentist van, she found that many families weren’t brushing their teeth.

The reason why?

Because it seemingly made more sense to use what little money they had for food, not toothbrushes.

Too bad those people don’t know these hacks for making your own toothbrush.

Option 1: Twig Toothbrush

miswak twig toothbrush alternative

In ancient times, people didn’t have toothbrushes. Instead, they’d get a small twig or branch and chew the end. When the end was adequately frayed, they’d use it to brush their teeth.

Option 2: Rag + Saltwater

If you are near the ocean, then you can use this method to make an emergency toothbrush.

Take a rag, dip it into the salt water, and then use it to clean your teeth. The salt is a natural antibacterial. Plus, some people claim that it is better to rub your teeth than use a toothbrush.

(Source: Wonderopolis)

What if You Run Out of Toothpaste?

Just because you don’t have any toothpaste, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush.

Here are some options. If you know of any other toothpaste alternatives, let us know in the comments!

  • Baking Soda: Just dip your toothbrush (or tooth stick) into the baking soda and then brush regularly.
  • Sea Salt: Sea salt is really coarse and could cause abrasion. To prevent this, dissolve the sea salt in some water first and use this “brine” to brush your teeth.
  • Coconut Oil or Olive Oil: Apparently, “oil pulling” is a big craze in the health world. The oil is supposed to draw toxins and bacteria out of your teeth and mouth. I tried it. I didn’t do it long enough to say whether it has benefits, though I can say it feels really weird to brush with oil!
  • Non-Toxic Soap: I wasn’t sure about this one when I read it. However, soap will also create suds that will remove gunk from your teeth.
  • Peppermint Oil: Essential oils are a great thing to stockpile for your SHTF first aid kit. You can also make oil out of mint, which is one more reason to grow it in a Medicinal Survival Garden.
  • Dry Brushing: If you really have nothing, just brush your teeth without any toothpaste. It will get the gunk off of your teeth and help prevent infections and plaque. You won’t get that minty-clean feeling that comes with brushing, but it is better than nothing!

Have you made an emergency dental kit yet? What's in yours?


Image credits:

"a tooth" (CC BY 2.0) by Dr PS Sahana * Kadamtala Howrah

"miswak" (CC BY 2.0) by Iqbal Osman1

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