A clearly-written dentistry article ideal for preppers
The linked article is clear, concise and each section is short enought to absorb the material.
One timely section well worth exploring is “How to get a filling at a lower cost”. Note: “dental schools.
Admittedly, I didn’t know to avoid phytic acid. Didn’t even know what it is – until reading the caption below the red kidney beans.
I’m not “inta” dentistry; just spent fortunes due to my poor quality dental hygiene … since corrected.
Depending on specifics, next to my IFAK/BOB (although bag is a vest) is a field dental kit for hygiene.
Jose Martinez - May 29, 2021
Do not put off dental work. What if a second pandemic happens in 2 months and things are shut down again and you can’t get to the dentist? As soon as you notice something, get it taken cared of.
I have family who have gone to dental schools to get work done. They don’t have insurance that covers dentistry and this is the only way they can get the work done that they need.
Bob - May 29, 2021
Good evening Jose,
Great point !
In the emergency management arena, the mentioned “second pandemic” is known as a * secondary hazard *. Too many … most ? … private citizen preppers neglect this. Our world is dynamic.
Besides my personal dental care, I do volunteer work with our state dental association. I work parking lots / traffic control / get the disabled to close-by designated parking spaces. Love it helping out. I’m the early-riser so I volunteer for the first “shift”. Will be at parking lot circa 3 AM. The line of cars already formed waiting for 4 AM when OK to drive in. All this care is no-cost to dental patient.
My volunteer work with the dentists is mostly in the Virginia Appalachia area. These are volunteer events I look forward to attending.
Conrad B - May 29, 2021
My dentist recommends that I get an electric toothbrush, but I just never have. I have so many electronic devices and things to charge and plug in, I don’t want to add one more.
Do you guys use a manual or electric toothbrush?
Bob - May 29, 2021
Good evening Conrad,
I use a manual tooth brush. My view is about the same as your’s. Electric devices are kept to a minimum here.
NB: My DDS also recommended I use a “Water Pik”. This, too, is avoided.
My dental hygiene/teeth brushing is about 1 hour. The manual methods work AOK.
UbiqueContributor - May 30, 2021
Good morning Bob,
I’m sticking with the electric toothbrush. I don’t use a Water Pik.
Another reason I prefer the electric is due to arthritis in my hands. It makes a thorough teeth brushing much easier.
The dental surgeries scared the daylights out of me and what works for me is to continue using the electric toothbrush (Oral B).
As I told Conrad above, dental health is very important to me. I can’t understand why any of my dentists/hygenists throughout the previous years never educated me on proper oral care. I never learned any of this until the periodontist became involved.
Bob - May 30, 2021
Good morning Ubique,
My DDS mentioned getting a Water Pik in addition to an electric toothbrush. So far, my manual labor is working AOK.
I didn’t have the bacteria “pockets” problem. My problem was bone loss defeating the sealing purpose of the gums next to the tooth/teeth. My periodontist solved the gum infections via the procedure called “deep cleaning”. With my vigorous dental hygiene efforts coupled to the deep cleaning procedure, so far all is OK.
The periodontist appointments are why I still drive an old F-150 pickup.
That basic RX oral rinse used at dental hygiene appointments is a main component of my field dental kit. Each use after brushing extends one’s dental endurance ~ 24 hours. It is 24 house before harmful bacteria form.
My periodonist explained all this to me when he asked if I had – any – questions. How many new patients arrive at an appointment with a clip board full of questions ?!
Bob - May 30, 2021
The electric machine’s vibrations hurt my injured hands more so than my arthritus.
That “basic RX oral rinse” is: Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse 0.12%”. It requires a RX prescription from dentist to get. (I’m writing this for other readers just starting outtheir prepper venture.)
UbiqueContributor - May 30, 2021
I always went for regular dental work and checkups. My dental health is really important to me and I have spent a lot of money on it.
Imagine my surprise when I went to my dentist and was referred to a periodontist because of gum disease. Two dental surgeries later to save my back teeth, I can tell you this:
Get an electric toothbrush. I used to think it was a gimick until the periodontist nurse explained the difference it makes in cleaning in and around the gum line. She also taught me the proper way to clean my teeth before using the electric toothbrush as in proper way to floss, etc.
If plaque forms there, you get “pockets” which becomes bacteria and ends up in gum disease. The electric toothbrush brushes down into the gum line and after using one, manual brushing doesn’t even come close.
It took a year, but after the two surgeries and quarterly check ups and cleaning, my gum pockets are mostly healed. There are a couple of places I watch, but the situation is nowhere near as bad as it was.
Electric toothbrushes and the brush heads are not expensive. I use an Oral B and get my brush heads in a multipak on sale from Costco. It is preventative and I wish I had understood it sooner.
What you do today to protect your dental health will make all the difference in years to come. For most people periodontal problems are a feature of ageing after a lifetime of improper dental care.
Hope this helps.
Carolyn - July 27, 2023
I had an electric toothbrush for over 10 years. When it finally died, I got a regular toothbrush and my gums are better now!
For me, the trick is to get an extra-soft toothbrush. Because the bristles are so soft, it is more like polishing my teeth than brushing them, and polishing is all that is needed to remove the bacteria.
Also, because the bristles are so soft, they don’t hurt my gums when I brush right up along the gum line. So I’m more likely to spend time there.
I think that may be why my teeth are doing better with a regular toothbrush.
RedneckContributor - May 30, 2021
As a prepper, I think having a dentist as part of your community would be extremely worthwhile. Besides handling the “normal” dental work, they could also handle other medical tasks. The only person in this area that knows I’m a prepper is one of our local dentists. We are good friends at church, he loves guns too & also believes in being prepared… just not to the extent as me. He knows what I have here on the homestead & he and his family have been invited to join us here during a crisis. The other local dentist lives down the road on our dead end lane.
más picante - June 5, 2021
This is my OWN experience and obviously YMMV. I’m in my 40s, have had one cavity in my life, and it was in high school because a friend had a birthday party and his parents (who owned a candy store) gave us each a giant box of gumballs as party favors. I chewed up all those gumballs in a week and lo and behold, had a cavity next checkup.
After that, I continued going to the dentist regularly. My parents both had horrible teeth, lots of cavities, root canals, the whole 9 yards. But somewhere in college I just gave up. I brush once a day, in the morning, using an electric toothbrush, a tongue scraper, and finish with Listerine (one of the variants with fluoride and minimal alcohol). Zero problems since those damn gumballs.
underprepraccoon - June 25, 2021
Good morning Bob.
I think good step up from just getting current work done is getting familiar with the rest of oral care. Where There Is No Dentist has a lot of good info to keep things clean and solve some issues without the dentist.
Bob - June 25, 2021
Good morning Underprepraccoon,
Most definitely routine, daily living oral hygiene is important or during a big emergency otherwise oral health care problems get maganified.
We’ve got Murray D’s book here but actually his focus is different than ours. What they’re doing in places like subSahara Africa is teaching and practicing how individual citizens can do dental work eg via ART.
We’ve set up … at least in theory … Famous words ! … less about pure dentistry and really * head trauma * . My small group has a retired DDS and I took 2 emergency field courses (taken overseas) to help him. The presumptions are, of course, Lois Lane and Clark Kent have the ready empty telephone booth for Clark to change into the Superman uniform with cape. If we’re assembled before a disaster, we anticipate good results. The other scenerios are famous words.
underprepraccoon - June 26, 2021
That sounds like an excellent redundancy and a great build up for community work.
I find Murry D.’s books very relevant, I live in an underserved, borderline post apocalyptic area of the state, and has some of the most “third world” numbers of the United States. Our local hospital is closing down and there might be a few months with a partially working replacement before full services are available.
It already helped just reading what I did from that book, helping my mom bring down a bunch of gum inflammation with flossing and cleaning. She does have a cleaning soon, but if the Delta variant shuts things down again, I’ll at least feel a little better about how our teeth are doing.
Essie Carroll - June 26, 2021
Is this book something that someone with no dental experience, except for brushing their teeth twice daily their whole life, can pick up and learn some valuable skills in an easy to digest way and improve their chances of making it without a dentist during an emergency?
I can’t handle a medical textbook that teaches how to stitch up gums after a laceration or all these expensive tools to extract a tooth.
underprepraccoon - June 26, 2021
It definitely has more of a focus on health worker in a destitute area to the community, but I think a lot of the information is useful and while not a degree in dentistry, it would at least help you understand when you need to go to bigger echelon care.
It’s not too graphic, and only a little technical, as in using specific names for antibiotics and naming specific tools. I think it’s way easier to read than academic stuff.
I would suggest looking for a free PDF download to see if it’s readable for you, cuz I think they put out the last editions for free, and the newer ones with updated information are what they sell online.
Essie Carroll - June 26, 2021
I’ll take a look for a previous version, and if its something I can handle and work with then I’ll buy the latest edition. Thank you!
Bob - June 26, 2021
Good morning Essie,
It’s definitely a good book for “laity” to read.
FWIW, besides the “just brushing … twice daily” ask your DDS if that RX mouthwash (oral rinse) is appropriate for you. Whether sheltering in place or out in the sticks, it is a “must have/must use” – and it works !
Essie Carroll - June 27, 2021
Thanks Bob, I will ask my dentist about mouthwash. Currently I use some about once a week. Side note.. Don’t get mouthwash with alcohol in it. It burns and I’ve read that the alcohol will dry out your mouth more and cause your breath to get worse. A wet mouth is a happy mouth.
I wish I didn’t use mouthwash as a child. I have permanent staining on my teeth now because of over fluoridation. Getting fluoride in my water, tooth paste, and then mouthwash was too much for my developing teeth and it’s common for children to get staining from it in a condition called fluorosis.
Jeff Opal - June 30, 2021
That article has little about self-care for teeth. ATMI the “standard” three things recommended by dentists are brushing (using a tooth brush and tooth paste), flossing, and daily “swishing” of mouthwash in one’s mouth. Something I discovered a few years ago should interest many: I discovered that I can make a black area of delay disappear (become a brilliant white) by daily painting the spot with ethanol (drinking alcohol). The mouthwash sold in stores seems much to weak to achieve such a result.
Bob - June 30, 2021
Good morning Jeff,
The article’s section “Prevention” tells of the basics for prevention.
I manufacture my own toothpaste: baking soda and hydrogen peroxide …… even have “kit” set up to make this in the field or boat.
The – best – aspect of my dental hygiene program … and again, my setup is for away from shelter … is use of my DDS RX prescription mouthwash (“oral rinse”).
Sir Henry - July 1, 2021
Hydrogen peroxide only has a shelf life of about 3 years before it might not be that as effective of a disinfectant. Especially if you open and expose the mixture to air and light.
For this reason, I like to only buy the small bottles and rotate through them more frequently.
If you are in the middle of SHTF however and you can’t go to the super market and you only have this old bottle of hydrogen peroxide and you want to know if it is still active, then take a little and spray it in a sink and see if it bubbles. If it does, then it still has some kick to it.
Bob - July 2, 2021
Good morning Sir Henry,
Good method to check on the H2O2. Thank you for posting this tip.
I do the same as you, as modified to my situation. For field work – and especially my individual evacuations – I carry only the small 4 oz. plastic bottle. Otherwise here at BOP I also have a case of the larger 32 oz bottle for the daily “manufacture” of my toothpaste: H2O2 and baking soda.
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