| Thursday, July 26, 2007
| THE MOLAR SYSTEMS
|Some cavity-fighting weapons are simple, like a stick. Others -- say, flossing tools , some precious. Though what you use reflects where you live, humanity has long faced a shared oral enemy. New York University researchers recently used DNA fingerprinting to show that Streptococcus mutans, a tooth decay culprit, plagued the mouths of modern humans living in Africa more than 100,000 years ago.
West Africans chew licorice bush sticks till the wood fibers form a natural toothbrush. Elsewhere in Africa, twigs from other tree do the same job.
The ancient practice of ayurvedic medicine teaches that a tidy tongue is key to oral health. Solution, a scraper made of silver, which has antibacterial properties.
Plastic floss holders have caught on in recent years. They may not work any better than the old method, and cost more, but are easy to use.
Can black paste yield a white smile? South Koreans esteem charcoal for its health benefits and will pay a premium for a dentifrice spiked with the stuff.
Brush in a Ball
A vending machine in Heathrow Airport yielded this tiny scented brush for travelers who don't want to dig in their luggage. To clean your teeth, just chew on it.
Tea Tree Toothpicks
Toothpicks infused with oil from the tea tree, an antiseptic long used as a folk remedy by indigenous Australians freshen breath and remove plaque.
(Source:NATGEO/FAMILY OF MAN )
|posted by infraternam meam @ 1:29 PM