Excerpt and illustrations from Vitality Supreme by Bernarr Macfadden, 1915.
One good method of keeping the teeth free from tartar is to rub the gums and teeth daily with table salt containing considerable grit. Dampen the finger, place a quantity of table salt thereon and then rub the teeth where they meet the gums. Make the process sufficiently vigorous to rub off any tartar that may have accumulated. The mouth should be rinsed with moderately warm water immediately after this process to remove the salt. Any good tooth wash that is sold in the form of paste can be used instead of salt for this same purpose. This rubbing process is of more value to strengthen the gums and to cleanse the teeth than brushing the teeth with an ordinary tooth brush.
Tooth brushes, however, are valuable and should be used morning and evening. In caring for the teeth the following plan is suggested:
Soon after rising rinse the mouth out thoroughly with a mild antiseptic tooth wash; soap, or salt and water, is fairly good if nothing better can be obtained. Plain water will also serve the purpose. Lemon juice to which considerable water has been added, also makes a good mouth wash. Orange juice can also be recommended.
It may be said that most of the standard tooth powders and tooth pastes on the market at the present time are fairly reliable and satisfactory, particularly those of which the formula is printed on the wrapper. When brushing the teeth, avoid using a brush with the bristles too hard. A medium- or even a soft-bristle brush is preferable. The lateral action of the tooth brush, commonly used, is of limited value. one should use a vertical or up-and-down movement, so that the bristles will reach the crevices between the teeth. It is the spaces between the teeth that particularly need cleaning the brush should be used in such a way as to reach these. It is here that decay usually begins.
After having brushed the teeth then rub them in the manner previously described. Spend two or three or even four or five minutes at this rubbing process. If the teeth are free from tartar do not use the salt more than once or twice weekly, though any good tooth paste could be used daily to advantage, not for brushing the teeth, mind you, but for rubbing the gums and teeth.For removing accumulated food substances from between the teeth silk or linen floss can be recommended. Holding the thread between the fingers of each hand force it down between two teeth and bring it back and forth. If you have no regular dental floss, use any white silk thread for the purpose. It does not do one much good to brush the teeth if he does not remove decaying and acid-forming matter from between the teeth. The use of dental floss is fully as important as the use of a tooth brush. Where Rigg’s disease, or pyorrhea, is present, an antiseptic can be used to advantage two or three times daily after rubbing or washing the teeth. Massage of the gums may prove helpful, if gently applied, though in a serious case of pyorrhea a fasting and general blood-purifying regimen is advisable.
There was no reference to or explanation of the tooth-exercise illustrations in the text.