National Geographic : 1924 Sep
Good T YOUR teeth-how about them ? How long since you have had them carefully examined? Do you ever go to the dentist except when riotous pain sends you? Science has learned that bad teeth may cause any one of a dozen or more serious ailments-rheumatism, joint trouble, neuritis, neuralgia and heart disease. And it doesn't take a mouth full of PLAN diseased teeth to cause acute trouble. One single cavity-if neglected-may be suffici ent. This is what happens: A bit of food lodges in a tooth. Decay begins. As the cavity grows larger, the millions of germs which are always present in the mouth go trooping into the tooth. Before long the breaking down and decay of the inside structure of the tooth per mit the germs to reach the pulp which is filled with blood vessels and nerves. The germs are picked up by the blood and given a tour of the body. Some of them debark in the heart. Others get off in the joints. Still others call out their station in the lungs or kidneys. Many times the result is years of pain. Sometimes a crippled body. Sometimes-death. All may come from a neglected tooth cavity! Real trouble is often hidden There is another source of trouble that is nearly always unsuspected -infection at the roots. This may happen to a tooth that never has been filled. Devitalized teeth - teeth from which the pulp has been removed -and teeth which have been improperly filled frequently develop abscessed roots which pour virulent poison into the system. This often goes on quietly without Preventive dentistry-oral prophylaxis-is still new to many people. It is a great step in the work being done for public health. Every year taxpayers are assessed hundreds of thousands of dollars for the re-instruction of children who have failed to be promoted because physical disabilities -frequently caused by the teeth-held them back. Teaching mouth hygiene in the schools-with tooth-brush drills and regular twice-yearly exam- Eeethkeeping causing the slightest local pain, al though intense agony may be felt in other parts of the body from the effects of the poison. If you have bridges or crowns, it is well to suspect the foundation and have these teeth X-rayed. Now what about the children? Half of the total number of the school-children in United States and NOW Canada have badly diseased teeth which are a definite menace to their health. We can save such children from the suffering and illnesses that we have had, if we all work together for them. How? By teaching children to have clean mouths, and by clean mouths is meant not only clean teeth but clean gums. We must teach them to brush their teeth regularly for two minutes at least twice a day-after every meal if possible. And we must see that they eat proper food. Milk, eggs, whole wheat bread, fresh vegetables and green foods of all kinds con- -- tain the lime needed to build strong, healthy teeth. If mothers- ,.- to-be will eat plenty of the foods which contain lime, their children ' <"'.f -I will have better teeth. Your dentist-if he has studied ' -'. ) modern methods-will know ( what to do about teeth which are diseased. Visit him regularly .' every six months. It is cheaper ( ,/X\ and less painful to have a little \ work done twice a year than to i :, wait until neglect has developed a serious condition. 'ii school children and to teach them to take proper care of their mouths. What is your particular community doing to promote oral prophylaxis for the school children? Local cubs and organizations are helping school boards to introduce oral hygiene into the public schools. This rapidly growing interest is making for a better educated, healthier, happier people. nations ana reparative work-will remove mucn ' po "*' "V "'s"ce ompan'y- ._ wi r " "" of the disability and save the taxpayers' money. be glad to mail, free, a copy of a booklet, Care of the Teeth" to anyone who requests it. ;., : Oral hygienists are trained to clean the teeth of HALEY FISKE, President. u ' '?t .. .. . 'ii i; -- '" Publishedby ... ' g' METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY--NEWYORK Biggest in the World, More Assets, More Policyholders, More Insurance in force, More new Insurance eachyear "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."