Looking for a natural alternative to a conventional toothbrush? Consider the miswak – the ultimate natural toothbrush!
Have you ever wondered what mankind used for dental care before the invention of plastic bristles and plastic handles? History tells us people have relied on twigs from bitter trees like olive trees or palm trees for centuries. The optimal tree, however, is the arak tree.
Known as the “toothbrush tree”, the arak (Salvadora persica tree) is an evergreen tree found throughout the Middle East and Africa. While the miswak is most often obtained from the root of the tree, sometimes bark or branches are used. The miswak offers unique antiseptic and astringent properties including a bleaching or whitening property due to the presence of silica.
The World Health Organization even recommends the miswak due to its affordability, effectiveness and availability!
I use a miswak and love it! I also use a regular toothbrush with my DIY tooth powder recipe, but most of my oral hygiene regimen utilizes the miswak. A miswak is all I need when I travel.
The best news about the miswak? It’s inexpensive. I buy in bulk for less than a dollar per stick.
How to use a miswak
1. Your twig will come intact. You’ll need to access the brushes. Simply cut or chew off the end. (You can soak the end of the twig before accessing the brushes to make the process easier.)
2. Scrape off the bark or chew off the bark until you have the brushes.
3. The brushes will look something like this. Moisten the brushes before use.
4. Clean the teeth by rubbing the miswak vertically and horizontally, just as you would with a conventional brush. Keep a firm grip and spend up to 5 minutes stimulating the gums and brushing all areas.
5. The brush may be re-used, but cut again for a fresh brush periodically. Discoloration is evidence that the twig must be cut. The fresher the brush, the more potent the ingredients in the brush.
Ready to try an all natural approach to dental care? Why not try the miswak!