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6. Talk to the person about what you have done and what to
expect. The gums will be sore for the next few days. That is normal.
Then explain to the person what to do to make the gums strong and
• Clean your teeth better with a soft brush. Reach with the brush
into the gum pocket, and behind your front teeth. That is where
tartar collects most often (page 69).
• Clean between your teeth. Use your brush, the stem from a palm
leaf, or a piece of strong, thin thread (page 71).
• Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Start with 4 cups a
day, to make the gums strong. Then use 1 cup a day to keep them
strong (page 7).
• Eat local foods that give strength to gums. Fresh fruits like
guava and oranges, and fresh vegetables with dark green leaves
are good for the gums.
REMOVING SOMETHING FROM UNDER THE GUM
If the gum between two teeth is red and swollen, something may be caught
inside the gum pocket. Ask what the person has been eating. The object
may be a fish bone, mango string, or a sharp piece of tartar.
First try to feel the object with your probe. Then remove it using a scaler or a
piece of strong thread.
Use the rounded-tip scaler in the same
way as you would to remove tartar.
Feel the object, go under it gently,
and then lift it out.
Tie a knot in a piece of thread. Then slide
the thread between 2 teeth (page 71).
However, do not move the thread up and
down. Instead, pull it and the knot out
the side. The knot can pull the object out
* If the gum has grown into a kind of tumor (epulis), an experienced dental worker should cut it away.