Rinsing your mouth after every meal helps lead to a lovely smile
Femininity may be heir to many beauty woes, but ugly teeth is one trouble which is often caused by sheer neglect. How many of us can recall the days of childhood and girlhood without remembering the fibs we told to escape cleaning our teeth? The blessed mothers implored and begged and threatened and fussed, but we went our way joyful and serene, making all due preparations for future unhappiness.
But when the girl began to think more about her personal appearance, and less of the frivolities of advanced babyhood—oh, that we were all back at that jolly time of life!—things were very different. The neglected teeth got good attention then, but often the mischief had already been done. I trust that the younger readers of this volume on beauty will remember that this is hopelessly true, and something not to be forgotten—like yesterday’s toasted marshmallows or to-day’s lesson in political economy.
I have heard it said that too much brushing will injure the teeth, but don’t you believe it! The sooner you become accustomed to a moderately stiff brush, that will do its work well and thoroughly, the better. All foreign matter must be constantly removed, else decay will come as sure as fate. A perfect state of cleanliness cannot be unless the teeth have proper and constant attention. By this I do not mean that you must cease all other occupations and take up that of eternal scrubbing. Simply keep your teeth clean. Toothpicks must not be used excessively, cold water should not be applied—or very hot, either, for that matter—and all powders containing gritty substances must be tabooed.
It is quite unnecessary for me to add that you must not bite thread or break nuts with your teeth, for all of us have had this bit of information dinned into our ears since the time when “little children should be seen and not heard” made life a worry and a care. I must confess, however, that I have seen women untie knots and do various bits of very remarkable mechanical work in this unique manner. My experience has been so broad in this particular line of observation that the expression “biting ten-penny nails” has never appeared to me to be much overdrawn.
If one seriously desires fine, beautiful, white teeth—and who doesn’t?—one must treat them well. Just before going to bed, give them a thorough cleaning, using waxed dental floss to remove any large particles which may be between them. Use only a pure powder, the ingredients of which you know. Be sure that all powder is well rinsed away. See that your brush is kept scrupulously clean.
Upon arising in the morning rinse the mouth with diluted listerine. This makes an excellent wash, especially when the gums are tender and liable to bleed. Brush the teeth with tepid water. After breakfast, luncheon and dinner, wash them again, letting the last cleansing be the most searching and thorough. Once in a while it is wisdom to squeeze a little lemon juice onto the brush. This will remove the yellow appearance that often comes, and will also keep your teeth free from tartar.
Every six months visit your dentist and have your teeth thoroughly examined. The smallest cavities should be filled at once, and the pain will be less than when these agonizing crevices get so large that you feel that it’s a flip-up between going to a dentist or jumping into the lake.
I know that most of us are cowards when it comes to seances in dentist chairs, but all such things—like house-cleaning and writing letters to folks you don’t like, and entertaining your husband’s maiden aunt—all these things are heaps nicer when they’re well over with. They are the events which we prefer should ornament the past instead of the future.
To Sweeten the Breath
- Cinnamon, two and one-half drams.
- Essence of peppermint, one dram.
Mix and leave in infusion for two weeks in a tightly covered vessel; filter and bottle. Put one teaspoonful in a glass of water, and rinse the mouth with this every morning.
For the Teeth
- One-fourth pound of prepared chalk, finely powdered
- Three-fourths ounce pulverized castile soap
- One ounce powdered orris root
- One-half dram oil of sassafras
- One ounce pulverized sugar