Jun 26, 2012 0
One of the questions that I’ve been asking of many ‘things’ in our world is: “how did people do this before modern technologies came along?“ This question has led me to some very interesting ideas, and has led to the exploration of and modification of my behavior in many cases. This post is particularly concerned with dental care and hygiene.
First and foremost, the diets of humans was composed of things that did less damage to our teeth, for most of our history. This likely made the issue of cleaning the teeth far less of an issue than it is today. Without processed sugar and and refined foods, people were not at as great a risk of damaging their teeth.
But this still does not address the tools or methodologies used to tackle the problem. My searching has led me to find a few different ideas. Mainly it seems people used roots, branches and leaves. Some of these took the form of the chewing stick or a simple toothbrush, and were chewed and swished around the mouth to spread the plant matter around the mouth, teeth and gums, and some were used as a toothpick. Perhaps there were more that I haven’t learned about or used intuition to “rediscover”.
The chewing stick is something that I experimented with in the middle-east, and have been using exclusively for my own tooth care, in combination with flossing, for the past month. I was most inspired by Nara Petrovic, a fellow who has some funny and inspiring videos, and an excellent blog, too. If you are interested, he has written an excellent document on the natural toothbrush, which you can read here.
Here in the Genesee River Valley in Western New York, I’ve been enjoying the willow (Salix) tree, and have experimented with peach and black ash, too. I find that this chewing stick provides me with a very satisfactory result after using it. I enjoy that it brings me outside to the riverside to get my toothbrush (which I only do every week or so) instead of having to travel to a store, that this is free, creates no waste or garbage, is perfectly ‘green’ and prevents me from putting toxic chemicals or plastics into my body or the environment.
I do highly recommend you try this. Depending on your bioregion, there will be different solutions for you.
To your health and frugality,