Brushing teeth?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Upasaka Sumana
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Brushing teeth?

Postby Upasaka Sumana » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:57 pm

Are monks allowed to brush their teeth?
Do not think lightly of evil, saying, "It will not come to me." A drop at a time is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.
Do not think lightly of good, saying, "It will not come to me." A drop at a time is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.

—Gotama Buddha, Dhammapada 121-122

Anicca
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Location: Edmond, Oklahoma

Re: Brushing teeth?

Postby Anicca » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:08 pm

Yes. Tooth cleaning sticks were used at the time of Buddha - toothbrushes are allowed today.

See: The Bhikkhus' Rules - A Guide for Laypeople

Monastic Code
Care of the teeth. Toothbrushes, dental floss, toothpaste, and tooth powders were unknown in the time of the Buddha. However, there is an allowance for tooth wood, which is the same thing as the tooth-cleaning stick discussed under Pc 40. The Buddha extolled the virtues of using tooth wood as follows: "There are five advantages in chewing tooth wood: It makes the mouth attractive, the mouth does not smell foul, the taste buds are cleaned, bile and phlegm do not coat one's food, one enjoys one's food." At present, toothbrushes and dental floss would come under the allowance for tooth wood. Because tooth wood should not be less than four fingerbreadths long, many Communities extend this prohibition to include toothpicks less than four fingerbreadths as well. Toothpaste and tooth powder, because they are composed of mineral salts, would come under the allowance of salts for medicine.


metta
Last edited by Anicca on Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Upasaka Sumana
Posts: 891
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:53 pm
Location: Manchester, UK
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Re: Brushing teeth?

Postby Upasaka Sumana » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:09 pm

Thank you. :)
Do not think lightly of evil, saying, "It will not come to me." A drop at a time is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.
Do not think lightly of good, saying, "It will not come to me." A drop at a time is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.

—Gotama Buddha, Dhammapada 121-122


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