Cleaning the Teeth.
THE most important rule to be observed in the preservation of the teeth is to keep them perfectly clean, and never to allow any foreign substance to remain on or about them. A decaying tooth should never be allowed to remain in the mouth; it causes others to decay.
If tartar has been allowed to collect, have it removed immediately. The teeth should be carefully and thoroughly brushed daily’ with warm mater, and the occasional use of a dentifrice that is impalpably fine, and that contains no acid.
A Brush has no bad effect upon the teeth, as some suppose, for the parts of the teeth most exposed to the friction of a brush axe never the first to begin to decay. This beginning of decay takes place in their depressed surfaces, and where they touch each other. A soft brush is better for the teeth than a stiff one, because the latter is apt to fret the gums, and cause them to recede, which gives the teeth a lengthened appearance.
Teeth in a crowded condition should never be filed, unless they begin to decay.
Tooth Picks, made of quill, or wood, or ivory, should be used after meals, and all particles of food lodged between the teeth should be removed.
In Sickness, the rules for cleanliness of the teeth should be more rigidly enforced than at any other time, as then they are more exposed to destructive agents, and are liable to participate in the general debility and disease of the system.
Influence of Diseased Teeth upon the Health.
The bad effects of a diseased and unclean mouth upon the general health are of more serious consequence than most people are aware. In twenty four hours, we breathe twenty thousand times; and what must be the effect upon the delicate structure of the lungs, when, for days, months and years, the air we breathe is drawn through a depository of filth, and is poisoned by being mixed with effluvia arising from decayed and diseased matter in the mouth. The intermittent fevers of the West are caused by the effluvia arising from the decaying matter of low grounds and marshes, which can hardly be more pernicious than the effluvia from the impurity and corruption generated in an unclean mouth, filled with decaying teeth. Dr. Hays says 11 no species of animal matter is so offensive to the health and vitality of the adjoining substance, whether nerve, or membrane, or any part or portion of the living body, as decaying bone."
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