424 IDEAL HOME LIFE
Care of the Teeth
The best way to treat disease is to avoid those habits and methods and substances which produce it. ' Equally pithy and equally true is somebody's remark that to cure a certain disease in a certain family, he should have been allowed to go backward and begin with the grandparents. That is, we are now realizing the importance of preventive medicine. In this important science which concerns everybody we should know something of the nutritive importance of the materials from which we select our diet; we should also determine by experiment those substances which are helpful to us, and those which are hurtful. The care of the teeth and mouth in this connection is not to be neglected.
Sores in the mouth must be cleansed with frequent washings with weak solutions of boric acid (teaspoonful in a glass of water), carbolic acid (one part to one hundred of water), or bicarbonate of soda (teaspoonful in a glass of water).
The teeth should be brushed with a stiff brush night and morning, with or without the use of a dentifrice (powdered chalk with myrrh added). Food should not be allowed to collect between the teeth, a quill toothpick being used to remove it. The dentist should be visited sufficiently often to keep decayed teeth under control, and to secure the removal of those which are beyond repair. One can scarcely realize the harm to the digestive apparatus from decayed teeth and sores in the mouth. Offensive breath from this cause, or from any other, should be investigated and removed, not only because it is an evidence of injury and ill-health, but because it gives discomfort to others.
If the statements that have now been made are true, this section upon hygiene would not be complete without some reference to the various methods of disposing of the germs of disease which have been liberated in the atmosphere, absorbed by water, and which have settled upon the walls of houses, upon articles of furniture, clothing, etc.