The Care of the Teeth

Jun 14, 2013 by


The Care of the Teeth by Charles A. Brackett D.M.D. was originally published in 1915 and was one of a series of Harvard Health Talks. I love the following lines from the preface – guess things haven’t changed that much over the last 100 years:
“THE importance of this subject needs no argument. Symmetrical, sound, well-kept teeth are important contributions to the beauty of the human countenance. Their possession is rightly construed to mean cultivation and refinement. A person with nicely kept teeth may be expected to be of the kind fastidious in other particulars. Then in addition to the beauty of the teeth, may be urged their importance in the preparation of the food for digestion and assimilation. All other things being equal, the person who masticates his food thoroughly is the person likely to be blessed with the most comfortable and complete digestion, and the best nutrition.”
 and a few words on the proper use of the tooth brush:
“The manner of using the brush in order that good and not harm may result should be mentioned. Occasionally a person with more zeal than discretion, using a stiff brush and a coarse powder with a crosswise motion of the brush over the necks of the teeth, does make mischief. The margin of the gum is fretted and forced back, the softer portion of the tooth above or below the enamel border is exposed, and may be materially worn so as to constitute a V-shaped groove, markedly for the tooth’s disadvantage.
The right way to use the brush is to place it upon the gum and with a half-rotary motion bring it perpendicularly upward upon the lower teeth, downward on the upper teeth, in such a way as to avoid this danger of mischief which has just been described as possible in the crosswise motion. With this motion of the brush, not only is no harm likely to come to the soft tissues, but the cleansing of the teeth will be much more efficient through the passing of the bristles of the rightly trimmed toothbrush between the teeth, than could possibly be the case if the crosswise motion were used. The bristles of the brush should not be set together too compactly, and they may well be trimmed so as to give the brush a serrated face.”
Fun gift for your dentist!

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