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Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth - Dhamma Wheel

Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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cooran
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Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby cooran » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:37 am

Hello all,

I'm just dipping into Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Anguttara Nikaya - The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha - and am interested to see that there was no aspect of ordinary life that could not benefit from advice from the Blessed One.

Here is his advice on good mouth hygiene:

‘’Bhikkhus, there are these five dangers in not brushing ones’ teeth. [1216]
What five? It is bad for one’s eyes; one’s breath stinks; one’s taste buds are not purified; bile and phlegm envelop one’s food; and one’s food does not agree with one.
These are the five dangers in not brushing one’s teeth.

‘’Bhikkhus, there are these five benefits in brushing one’s teeth. What five? It is good for one’s eyes; one’s breath does not stink; one’s taste buds are purified; bile and phlegm do not envelop one’s food; and one’s food agrees with one. These are the five benefits in brushing one’s teeth. [251]


Page 822 Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, translation of the The Anguttara Nikaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Note 1216: Dantakatthassa akhadane, lit. ‘’in not chewing on toothwood’’. In the Buddha’s time people cleaned their teeth by brushing them with sticks of medicinal wood such as neem, sharpened at one end and made brush-like at the base. This practice is still observed in rural India as well as in monasteries in southern Asia.
The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya, Book of Fives p.822 (translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi).

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Ben
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Ben » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:51 am

Hi Chris,
I haven't gotten to that sutta yet in my readings.
But...how totally amazing!
The Buddha is very cool (and very cooled)!!!!
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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James the Giant
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby James the Giant » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:52 am

How odd! I never expected that.
I am 70% sure you are serious, but 30% of me thinks no such sutta exists and you're having a laugh.
I must do some research to confirm for myself.
:anjali:
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.

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cooran
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby cooran » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:04 am

Hello James,

I can understand your first thoughts! :smile: I was very surprised when Bhante Dhammasiha mentioned it in the Dhamma Talk this morning after Dana. He wasn't ready to give us the Talk as he had been giving advice to a lay person and hadn't had time to clean his teeth. He explained that it is part of the Vinaya that the monks must clean their teeth after eating. I couldn't wait to get home to look up the sutta.

It is sutta 208 (8) in the Book of Fives and is called ''Brushing''.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:12 am

:) Yeah, the Buddha thought of everything! It is great that we have such a great wealth of teachings from the Buddha. The Anguttara Nikaya has the most suttas dealing with everyday life and for lay people.

Now if we could just get the lay people to brush their teeth! It's kind of nasty when someone gets close to you talking right next to your face and they haven't brushed in perhaps days, weeks.
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Ben
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Ben » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:32 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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DAWN
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby DAWN » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:53 am

But actualy, if we watch deeply, teeth are very very very important, and when for some one is not very very very important it becomes very very very painfull :|
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Sambojjhanga » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:12 pm

I, too, never cease to be amazed at the thoroughness of the Blesssed One's advice.

Metta,

:anjali:
The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors

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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:27 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Sambojjhanga » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:37 pm

The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors

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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:41 pm

not specifically although they are available in Thailand


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Sambojjhanga
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Sambojjhanga » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:47 pm

The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors

SamKR
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby SamKR » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:53 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:16 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

santa100
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby santa100 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:54 pm


Kenshou
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Kenshou » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:41 pm


danieLion
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:57 am

Thanks Chris. This is really cool. I use popsicle sticks and Plackers. Work way better than toothbrushes (which are only a recent invention). Since I've started using them, my checkups have been cavity free (Did you know they added the tingle to toothpaste just to make it more appealing?) I also have a toothbrush and some "industrial strength" fluoride toothpaste from my dentist I use about once a week along with occasionally swishing with the Crest pro-health she recommended.

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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:33 am


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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:47 am

Hey everyone, here is a link to the tooth sticks which were probably used in the Buddha's day:

Surprising, they are also considered a traditional accompaniment to the wudu (ablutions) of Muslims and were praised by the Prophet Muhammed. I may get a tooth stick myself!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Cittasanto
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Re: Buddha's advice on Brushing Teeth

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:52 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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