The Art of Preserving Teeth

Jun 27, 2013 by

teethThe Art of Preserving Teeth was originally published in 1824 by Nathaniel Peabody, and gives a fascinating look into dental care in the early 1800’s…….!

a few lines from Mr. Peabody re: “powder”

“The question is often asked, ” What is the best powder for the teeth ?” The answer is, any simple powder, which will operate as a polisher of the teeth, and which will have no other than a mechanical effect. I have prepared and used a variety of dentifrices upon the teeth, and finally am of opinion, that charcoal, or coal thoroughly burnt, and pulverized, forms one of the most innocent polishers for the teeth. But this may be made of charcoal so impure, and so badly prepared as to be injurious to the teeth.

It ought to be, like all powders for the teeth, perfectly impalpable. Therefore, I would recommend that it always be
pulverized in an apothecary’s mortar, and approved by a judge. This dentifrice will not only whiten the teeth, but will
sweeten the breath. I have also used a dentifrice composed of a number of ingredients, called Compound Coral Dentifrice, which does perfectly well, and is used more than pulverized charcoal, or Carbon Dentifrice, because it is less smutty, and being of the colour of the gums, will not leave a black appearance about the edge of the gums, which carbon will often do.

Scotch snuff is used by some people as a dentifrice. This keeps the teeth in beautiful order, and is perfectly innocent. Fine salt is recommended by one Dentist who has published a book, as above all other dentifrices that can be named. I have given it a fair trial upon my own teeth and upon many others ; but the result of my experience has been unfavourable to the utility of it, as the teeth feel more naked and tender after the use of it, than after the use of any other dentifrice in my practice. Some people have a prejudice in favour of powdered bark for strength, or by moistening lint or a bit of sponge with it, and applying the lint or sponge to your On Cleaning Teeth, or removing Tartar. In the preceding section, a method is laid down for keeping the teeth clean, when they require no other remedy than the brush and dentifrice ; but they are often in such a state, that they will be benefited but very little by either. ”


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