While caring for the hair protect the pillow-case with a towel. When the hair is tangled always hold it between the tangle and the head to avoid pulling it. Rubbing a little vaseline into the scalp will help to get the snarls out more easily. To avoid tangles the hair should be brushed twice daily and braided in two plaits.
If the scalp is kept clean by rubbing it occasionally with a little alcohol and water (equal parts) the hair always well brushed, and rubbed once in a while between a damp wash-rag, it may not be necessary to wash it for quite a while.
When it must be washed, protect the pillow and upper part of the bed with a rubber sheet covered with a bath towel. Pull the pillows down under the back so that the head extends somewhat beyond them and over a basin of water. Have a slop jar at hand in which to empty the water, and plenty of warm water to wash the soap out thoroughly. Support the head with one hand while you wash it. Dry the hair well after washing. A little alcohol or hair tonic containing it, well rubbed into the scalp, will lessen the chance of the patient taking cold.
When the patient is unable to brush her own teeth it is often easier to do it for her with clean gauze wrapped around the index finger or the end of a piece of whalebone, than with a tooth-brush. In illness sordes (tartar) is apt to collect between the teeth unless they are very frequently and carefully cleansed.
Clean not only the teeth but also the gums, the roof of the mouth and the tongue. Whalebone and gauze are far better for this purpose than the brush. When a patient is on milk diet her tongue and mouth should be cleansed after each feeding.
Washing the Hair
Care of the Teeth
Care of the Mouth
Some good mouth washes are: (1) Equal parts of listerine, boric acid 4 per cent, lemon juice and water.
(2) Listerine, one ounce; peroxide of hydrogen, three drachms; alboline, one drachm.
(3) Tincture of myrrh, half a drachm; soda bicarbonate, grains twenty; aboline, one drachm.
(4) Listerine and water, equal parts.