Home Dentistry: Dental Medicine in Your Kitchen

Teach yourself a little about home dentistry with this excerpt from Dr. Robert Lara's book "How To Become Dentally Self-Sufficient."

| January/February 1980

Dr. Robert Nara, author of Money—by the Mouthful and the subject of a 1979 MOTHER EARTH NEWS interview, has recently completed a volume (entitled How to Become Dentally Self-Sufficient) that spells out—step by step—his preventive dentistry program (Oramedics). The following is an excerpt from Dr. Nara's new book is reprinted with permission of the author and from publisher Oramedics International Press. 

Two substances have been handed down for generations as folk medicines: baking soda and common table salt. Claims for the properties of these familiar chemicals range from the ridiculous to the sublime: They've probably been "known" to cure almost anything, at one time or another.

In your oral health medicine cabinet, these two can be used for hygienic purposes as well as home dentistry first aid. The first use, hygiene, simply has both soda and salt doubling as a dentifrice.

As a youngster, you probably experimented at one time or another by mixing baking soda and vinegar. Remember the reaction? The solution bubbled and boiled and fizzed: Something was happening. Apparently vinegar and soda are not overly compatible. Why is that? Well ... vinegar is acidic, and soda is alkaline. Acid and alkali are at separate ends of a scale ... they truly "don't get along".

Part of the disease process of odontosis takes place when the germs ingest sugar and begin excreting acid. It is this acid that begins the insult to tooth enamel which will become, eventually, a cavity.

If you use soda as a dentifrice, you will no doubt create that "soda-vinegar" reaction ... except on a scale so small as to escape observation. In this, there aren't any research figures we can supply ... no weighty documentation is available. It is, instead, plain common sense. Soda and acid are not compatible. Soda won't hurt your teeth and gums ... it won't hurt you if you swallow a teaspoonful (makes you burp) ... but it isn't going to do acid a whole lot of good when it comes in contact with it. Conversely, acid will hurt you in the teeth and gums. . . "it'll rot yer teeth. "

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