When you're away from home and your toothbrush, two easy ways to care for your teeth are to chew sugarless gum and drink tap water.
Sugarless gum triggers saliva production, and saliva replenishes protective minerals your acidic foods might have stolen. These minerals prevent decay, leaving behind stronger teeth. Gum can also pick up food particles that might collect otherwise, leading to plaque build-up or periodontal disease, which can cause receding gums [source: Zamosky].
Drinking tap water also wipes away lingering sugars and acids from your teeth. It's a great way to lessen the effects from food or sodas when you can't brush. And since tap water has fluoride added to it, it's actually better for your teeth than bottled water [source: Mayo Clinic].
When these tricks don't desensitize your teeth, though, it's time to see the dentist.