365 Health Strategies: Cleanliness as Applied to Health
March 5th

Benjamin Franklin listed the 10th virtue and "Cleanliness" of body, clothes, and habitation.  Most would think this refers to simply taking a bath.  There's a deeper cleaning that may be more useful.  For the next few days, I'll outline some simple ways to do more to keep the body clean of disease. 

In considering ways to enjoy excellent health by keeping the body clean, let's start with the mouth and work south. Now there's good evidence that the same bacteria that cause tooth decay may play a roll in coronary artery disease (heart attack).  Research also shows that people with good oral hygeine (on the average) live longer than those who have more tooth decay. 

As an ER doctor, I saw many bite wounds and had to be an expert.  Did you know that a bite from a dog is less likely to become infected than is a bite from a person (the worst is a cat with an over 50% chance of infection)? 

As a child, I suffered with 13 cavities on one trip to the dentist.  I called myself practicing good oral hygiene.  Then my grandmother showed me a little trick and since then I have never had another cavity.

You'll notice that many of the mouth washes and tooth pastes have baking soda or peroxide as one of the ingredients.  The trick she showed me was to simply brush every night with a paste made by putting baking soda in the palm of my hand and then pouring just enough peroxide on the mound of powder to make the mixture wet.  It's an old fashioned remedy but if you brush your teeth in this way for a few days you'll probably find that you can feel a noticeable difference in the way your mouth feels (cleaner).
Now I understand the science better than I did as a child.  Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is the natural buffer made by the mouth to counter the acid made by decay-causing bacteria.  Peroxides is also a natural bacteria killer (and becomes converted to water after being in the mouth).
For best results, simply use this routine followed by a fluoride rinse as the last thing before bed.  The rest of the day, I use simple toothpaste (easier and quicker).
And finally,  see the dentist every 6 months.
__ Luke 1-3

__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked _____

__ Eat 5 fruits or vegetables: actual amount _____

__ Virtue: Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation

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Charles Runels, MD
LifeStream Medical, Inc.