Water is not always sufficient to clean the teeth, but great caution
should be used as to the dentifrices employed.
Charcoal, reduced to an impalpable powder, and mixed with an equal
quantity of magnesia, renders the teeth white, and stops putrefaction.
Also two ounces of prepared chalk, mixed with half the quantity of
powdered myrrh, may be used with confidence.
Or, one ounce of finely powdered charcoal, one ounce of red kino, and
a table spoonful of the leaves of sage, dried and powdered.
A most excellent dentifrice, which cleans and preserves the teeth,
is made by mixing together two ounces of brown rappee snuff, one of
powder of bark, and one ounce and a half of powder of myrrh. When the
gums are inclined to shrink from the teeth, cold water should be used
frequently to rinse the mouth; a little alum, dissolved in a pint of
water, a tea-cup full of sherry wine, and a little tincture of myrrh
or bark, will be found extremely beneficial in restoring the gums to a
firm and healthy state. This receipt was given verbally by one of our
Every precaution should be used to prevent the accumulation of
tartar upon the teeth; this is best done by a regular attention to
cleanliness, especially during and after illness. "Prevention is
always better than cure," and the operation of scaling often leaves
the teeth weak and liable to decay.
Acids of all sorts are injurious to the teeth, and very hot or cold
liquids discolour them.
The best toothpick is a finely-pointed stick of cedar. Toothbrushes
should not be too hard, and should be used, not only to the teeth,
but to the gums, as friction is highly salutary to them. To polish the
front teeth, it is better to use a piece of flannel than a brush.
Toothache is a very painful malady, and the sufferer often flies
to the most powerful spirits to obtain relief; but they afford only
temporary ease, and lay the foundation for increased pain. A poultice
laid on the gum not too hot takes off inflammation, or laudanum
and spirits of camphor applied to the cheek externally; or mix with
spirits of camphor an equal quantity of myrrh, dilute it with warm
water, and hold it in the mouth; also a few drops of laudanum and oil
of cloves applied to decayed teeth often affords instantaneous relief.
Powdered cloves and powdered alum, rubbed on the gum and put in the
diseased tooth will sometimes lessen the pain.
Toothache often proceeds from some irritation in the digestive organs
or the nervous system: in such cases pain can only be removed by
proper medical treatment.
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