Miswak, the fully natural tree-grown toothbrush
Create your own toothbrush from the amazing the traditional toothbrush tree stick. No need for toothpaste or mouthwash either, this toothbrush releases it own antibacterial sap as you use it. Even the World Health Organizion promotes the use of the toothbrush stick for cleaning the teeth and gums.
Miswak is an environmentally friendly, cheap and effective way of cleaning the teeth. It is one of the best studied natural products for natural oral hygiene and it origins go back into the mists of time. Optimize your oral health with the most revered and traditional cleaning method. The toothbrush stick, or rather the root of this special tree replaces toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash and it can also be used as a tongue cleaner and it has a specials benefits for troublesome gums.
Salvadora persica root . Each stick is a generous 19-20cm or 7-8″
Benefits of Using the Natural Toothbrush
Astringent Detergent Anti-inflammatory Abrasive qualities Significantly plaque inhibiting Enhances salivation Fights caries Provides nutrients for healthy bone and tooth development
How to Prepare your Toothbrush Stick or Miswak for Use
Choose a working end. Either peel the bark away 1-2cm all around the end of the stick with a knife, or gently chew the bark off the stick. You are not expected to swallow the bark! You will begin to taste the somewhat bitter, mouth freshening flavour. The flavour is quite strong, rather like freshly cut horseradish, so you can peel the bark off if you prefer. As you continue to use the toothbrush stick, the flavour intensity reduces!
Once the bark has been removed from the first 1-2cm of the toothbrush stick, begin to gently chew the stick and rub it over the surfaces of the teeth and soften it with the saliva. Rub the end of the stick over the surface of the teeth to remove biofilm, plaque and tartar. Already the teeth will begin to feel more clean and the breath will freshen.
If the taste is too strong, then you can stand your new stick in a glass containing an inch or so of water and some of the flavour and sap is leached into the water. The water has now become mouthwash and the stick is slightly softened, making it easier to work into the type of bristles you require.
After a few goes, the end of the stick begins to fray and a brush develops. The thick sticks take a bit longer to develop the brush at their working end and it might help to crush the working end with a clean hammer on a chopping board. Or slice some of the volume off along the length or the working end of the stick to reduce its diameter. However we think that working the stick in the mouth gives better quality bristles.
Using Miswak, Siwak, Peelu or Arak as a Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Wet the end of the toothbrush stick either in the mouth with saliva. This softens the fibers and dissolves beneficial juices from the stick. You can also wet the fibers with water or rose water. Rose water is also very beneficial for oral hygiene and it has been used in this country since the 12th century.
To clean the teeth, rub the toothbrush over the teeth. Use any motion, horizontally and vertically. Don’t do the gums yet! No need to scrub. You can also chew the end of the stick lightly, to release more juices and to help clean the biting surfaces. Go gently until the toothbrush has formed. It might take a few goes to form a really handy toothbrush. The main idea is to encourage the release and distribution of precious juices from this plant and to nurture the bristles for the next step.
Now comes the most important part. Once the bristle are soft and sappy, take the bristles horizontally along the gum line. The sterilizises the gum line and massively improves the health of gums.
Make sure to clean the whole of the mouth cavity including the inside of the teeth, go right behind the back molars, do the cheeks, the palette, the tongue and under the tongue or at least to swish the mouth around with the juices created by brushing to reach the tissues in the mouth.
Treat every tooth and its corresponding part of gum as an individual. You will find the different parts have different needs!
Consider using interdental brushes (ask you dentist about them if you have not heard of them), then handspun silk floss and then the toothbrush stick for oral hygiene.
Brush the teeth on rising and going to bed, after meals or if the taste in the mouth changes.
After use rinse the miswak and keep it in a clean place. Replace it in the packet or keep it somewhere clean, ready for the next brushing. It helps to keep these sticks somewhat damp, so the bristles soften more quickly and the sap is released more easily.
Using the Toothbrush Stick to Create Mouthwash
The toothbrush stick can also be used to create a mouthwash. Using a natural mouthwash assures that ever part of the oral cavity is cleaned and freshened. The liquid mouthwash will reach the gum line, the tooth surfaces and in gaps between the teeth, the tongue, the pallet and the cheeks, even the throat if you choose to gargle with it. We do not advocate the use of very strong chemical mouthwashes which are designed to kill more or less everything, because the mouth and even individual teeth and areas of gum line should contain some levels of protective bacteria. We know that the toothbrush stick selectively kill the bacteria which cause gingivitis and dental caries, but not absolutely everything. You need some of these ‘friendly’ bacteria to protect the teeth from the really nasty bacteria. Likewise, when chemical mouthwashes are used, the may destroy the friendly bacteria in the stomach. So using miswak does not effect the healthy flora in the mouth and stomach which we need for good health.
There are three ways make your own mouthwash and a video on this topic:
- Either use the sap and saliva which has accumulated through brushing the teeth and use this.
- Stand a dedicated stick in a glass containing a few centimeters of water. The sap will start releasing straight away and within an hour or two you will have a top full strength mouthwash. After making the mouth wash remove the stick and replace it in the packet. I use the thick sticks for making my mouthwash.
- Use the stick that you have in use for cleaning the teeth – trim it and rinse it first and then stand that stick in water for an hour or two.
Caring for your Toothbrush Stick
As you continue using the miswak, the brushes will lengthen and less juices will be released. Also long fibres which have been rubbed on the teeth may break. So keep the head trimmed so that the texture and strength of the bristles are right for your style of use.
Trim the bristles at least once a day and rinse the toothbrush stick at least once a day. I replace my stick in the packaging so that it remains soft and ready to use.I start every day with a firm head (achieved after trimming the bristles) and then work the stick in the mouth until the bristles have formed, then do my gum treatment.It is ideal, if you can do a mouth wash with the sap and saliva which has been generated in the mouth and this way every surface in the mouth will be clean and fresh.
Gradually the toothbrush stick will get shorter, serving you very well in the meantime. I dispose of my toothbrush stick once I am down to the last few inches. Time to nurture a new one!
The Taste and Aroma of Miswak
The miswak sticks have a very strong flavour, of horseradish or mustard, and the sappier they are, the stronger the flavour. The aroma is strong too!
You can reduce the impact of the flavour and aroma in a few ways:
- Let the stick dry out a bit
- Wash the stick in water
- Peel the outside bark off for a few centimetres near the working end.
We have recently introduced, a much milder type of toothbrush stick, the Olive stick which tastes of olive with a hint of liquorice. The olive sticks are thinner and might be a little easier for people new to brushing with sticks. We also offer a pack containing one of each type of stick, if you would like to try them both.
The menu options are for
1 x miswak
3 x miswak
10 x miswak
1 x miswak and 1 x olive sticks
We now supply the miswak in a clear bags made of potato starch. It is compostable and does help keep the miswak fresh and juicy, how the packaging is noisy, so you might transfer the sticks into packaging of your choice.
You can read much more about the amazing benefits of salvadora persica in the following articles.
A review of the therapeutic effects of using miswak (Salvadora Persica) on oral health – this is a really thorough article and it also outlines the anti-viral properties of miswak.
Manoj Goyal, D. Sasmal and B.P. Nagori, 2011. Salvadora persica (Meswak): Chewing Stick for Complete Oral Care. International Journal of Pharmacology, 7: 440-445.
This article discusses the very interesting anti-oxidants in miswak and how it helps with the whole body health (against alzheimers, cardio-vascular disease, autoimmune disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis etc.)