In Muslim-inhabited areas the Miswak is prevalent. It is common in the Arabian peninsula. the Horn of Africa, North Africa, parts of the Sahel, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, Miswak is well-known as Kayu Sugi (Malay for ‘chewing stick’).
The Miswak is a twig from the Salvadora persica tree which cleans teeth and this is popular to have been in use for more than 7000 years. The properties of the Miswak have been defined as follows: “Apart from their antibacterial activity which may help control the formation and development of dental plaque, they can be effectively used as a natural toothbrush for teeth cleaning. Such sticks are efficient, inexpensive, popular, accessible, and contain many medical properties” It also features prominently in Islamic hygienic jurisprudence.
Hadith mentioning Miswak
Prophet Muhammad advocates the use of the Miswak.
Were it not that at the time of every Prayer I would overburden the Believers I would have directed them to use Siwak (Miswak).
Among the Prophets’ practices, there are four things: Circumcision, Perfume, Miswak, and Marriage.
Allow daily Miswak practice for it is truly the purification of the heart and a means of the Lord’s enjoyment.
Using the Miswaak, for it cleanses the mouth, and it is the Lord’s pleasure. Jib-ra-eel (A.S.) exhorted me to use the Miswaak so much that I was afraid its use would be decreed obligatory on me and my Ummah. If I hadn’t been afraid of putting misery on my Ummah I would have made my people obligated to use it. Verily, I use the Miswaak so much that I hate the front of my mouth in peels (by regular and plentiful Miswaak brushing)
Salvadora persica is a small tree or shrub, usually 6–7 meters (20–23 ft) tall, with a crooked trunk. The bark is uneven and scabrous, whitish with pendulous extremities. The tree’s root bark is similar in color to sand, and the areas within it are an even lighter brown hue. It has a good cress or mustard scent, and a moist and pungent taste. The leaves split when trodden on, with a perfect crisp crackle. The tree produces small, juicy yet pungent red edible fruits, in clusters.
How to grow Miswak Tree
In the right environment, dig a hole 3 inches deep, drop the seed in. Cover the seed with soil. Water the seed/keep the soil moist until the seed germinates. Watch it grow but water on an as-needed basis.
Can Miswak replace the toothbrush?
Chewing sticks (Miswak toothbrush) revealed a parallel and at times greater mechanical and chemical cleansing of oral tissues than a toothbrush. This research greatly demonstrated the anti-plaque efficacy of chewing paper. That indicates that it can replace the toothbrush effectively and exclusively.
How to use Miswak
- One end of the bark is either cut or approximately 1 cm chew off. The open end is then bitten to the bristles until the twigs come in, and these are used to brush without toothpaste. The worn bristles can be cut off every few days and continue the bark peeling and starting new. The Miswak needs water to moisten or rose water ideally if it is dry. The length of Miswak is typically around 15 cm, and the thickness resembles a finger.
- There are two grips, palm-grip (five-finger), or pen-grip (three-finger), to Miswak. Both are there to exercise intramurally and to tightly regulate the Miswak movement and to promote accessibility to all areas of the oral cavity.
- The course of Miswak should be away from both lingual and buccal surfaces, beginning at the gingival margins of the teeth. The operation of anteroposterior scrubbing applies on occlusal surfaces. One needs to be careful to prevent damage to the oral cavity’s soft tissues and usually, about 5 min of cleaning provides a satisfactory result.
- Cleaning the tongue is an essential use of Miswak; it helps to counter halitosis and effectively remove the white coat that forms on the tongue’s dorsum. When a stick is split into V-shape and rubs across the tongue in a scraping motion.
- Benefits of using Miswak
Kills bacteria causing gum disease.
- Effectively it battles plaque. The bark contains an antibiotic that suppresses bacterial growth and plaque formation. Research shows that daily Miswak use significantly decreases plaque, gingivitis, and cariogenic bacterial growth.
- The antibacterial properties are solid.
- It whitens & brightens the teeth if used frequently daily, leaving them with a shiny glow. Eliminates Bad breath and odor from the mouth & produces a good fragrance.
- Within this root or twig, the minerals contain potassium, magnesium, chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and calcium oxides. These components all improve the enamel of the tooth.
- Does all of the above naturally without the need for any additional products like toothpaste Helps with its parallel bristles to effectively clean between the teeth. Function both as floss and a toothbrush.
- Increases salivation & prevents dry mouth (Xerostomia) for those who reject fluoride products 100 percent organic & natural alternative to toothpaste, claiming that they are toxic & harmful.
- The taste buds are improved & preserved.
- Reduces stains in tobacco, coffee, and tea goods.
- The Miswak’s size & compact shape makes it easier to get into certain places that are hard to reach since a regular toothbrush is too large for that. It massages the gums even for healthy teeth.
It should be a straight, clean, smooth branch. Not too hard to stretch around 8 inches in length and thickness similar to the forefinger. Washing thoroughly before and after use, with rose water preferably. Moreover, when not in use, it should be kept vertically. Should not use in the toilet and avoid at both ends. Then at least three times cleaning is done in each part of the mouth. And very importantly, it cant be from some unknown tree as it may be poisonous or harmful. For more information check www.miskshop.com.