Remember that episode of Barney and Friends where the purple dinosaur told you that using toothpaste was the best way to take care of your pearly whites?
The dinosaur lied. Or maybe he just wasn’t aware of the incredible benefits of the miswak.
What on earth is a Miswak Toothbrush?
This cleaning twig, a staple in the Muslim world, has been used for ages to care for teeth, and is widely reputed for its’ medicinal benefits.
It’s traditionally derived from the Arak tree also known as the toothbrush tree (or the miswak tree), however varieties made using walnut and olive are just as popular.
Its’ history dates back to the ancient world, with the Babylonians, Egyptians and Greeks getting in on the action. And you know if it’s good for Hercules it’s definitely good for you.
The secret lies in both the bark and extract produced while brushing. Rich in fluorine, silica and a host of antibiotic compounds, they pack a serious punch to any bacteria that might be plotting against your teeth.
The antibiotic properties effectively fight plaque, gum disease and even prevent any existing decay from getting worse.
And to strengthen that enamel, minerals such as chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium work in tandem to get the job done.
Hey and don’t sit there thinking Mother Nature forgot your dying need to have blindingly-white teeth.
That’s what the silica is for.
The physical attributes of the miswak toothbrush also makes it superior to your regular one.
Since the bristles are parallel to the handle instead of perpendicular, removing particles lodged between the teeth is that much easier. It also scents the breath and increases salivation, preventing dry mouth and people passing out every time you open your mouth to sing along to Taylor Swift.
Scientific Benefits of Miswak
All this isn’t just an old wives’ tale. Really smart guys that you regret mocking in high school have tested the miswak under controlled conditions, coming to the same conclusion as Hercules up there.
Another 2004 study by New York University tested the effect of the chewing stick and regular brushing using toothpaste on streptococcus mutans. Once compared, subjects that had used miswak experienced a far greater reduction in the mutans compared to regular brushing. This was evidence of the famed antimicrobial effect of the chewing stick.
In 2003, a study set out to determine the difference between using a miswak stick and a regular toothbrush. At the end of the experiment, the subjects that had used the teeth cleaning twig showed a reduced incidence of plaque and gingivitis, proving its’ efficacy.
How to Use Miswak
All this will be in vain if you don’t know how to use it, right?
Lucky for you, it’s as easy as chewing on a stick!
Simply peel off a bit of the bark, create bristles by chewing on the exposed twig, and voila! You’re good to go.
Whenever the bristles get dry and old, cut them off and trim a bit of bark again.
In fact, since this is the number 1 question we get, we’ve decided to write a pretty detailed article on how to use the miswak, which you can check out here: MiswakClub.com/how-to
Brushing your teeth with a twig might sound like a very hipster move, but it’s probably the best gift you can give to your chompers. Try out the miswak and enjoy benefits that have been tried and tested for millennia.