Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Talking About Teeth

Today's blog is for a dear friend who is recovering from oral surgery.  I can think of only one thing good about that--we still have our teeth!  Back in the day, most women lost their teeth during their birthing years, when the body needed more calcium than it could possibly get.

Culpeper's Complete Herbal, published in 1814, offered this advice for keeping healthy teeth:

1.  If you will keep your teeth from rotting, or aching, wash your mouth continually every morning with juice of Lemons, and afterwards rub your teeth either with a Sage-leaf, or else with a little Nutmeg in powder; also wash your mouth with a little fair water after meats; for the only way to keep teeth sound, and free from pain, is to keep them clean.

2. To keep teeth white, dip a little piece of white cloth in Vinegar of Quinces, and rub your gums with it, for it is of a gallant binding quality, and not only makes the teeth white, but also strengthens the gums, fastens the teeth, and also causeth a sweet breath.

3. To fasten the teeth, seethe the roots of Vervain in old Wine, and wash your teeth often with them, and it will fasten them.

4. For the tooth-ache, take the inner rind of an Elder-tree, and bruise it, and put thereto a little Pepper, and make it into balls, and hold them between the teeth that ache.

5. For a Scurvy in the gums, take Cloves, and boil them in Rosewater, then dry them, and beat them  to powder, and rub the gums with the powder, and drink the decoction in the morning fasting an hour after it.  Use red Rosewater, for it is the best.

6.  For rotting and consuming of the gums, take Sage-water, and wash your mouth with it every morning, and afterwards rub your mouth with a Sage-leaf.

Well, there you have it.  If you can't think of anything to be thankful for today, remember the dentists and dental hygiene products available to us.   Dr. John shouldn't worry in the least about losing me as a patient.