Why hadn't I heard of Miswak? This simple little twig has been in use for thousands of years (some claim over 7,000!) to clean and protect the mouth and has recently been subject to some serious scientific scrutiny.
So what is it?
Miswak is a fibrous twig from the Salvadora Persica tree (commonly known as Arak) and is used as a natural tooth brush by many people in the Arbaian Peninsula, Asia and Africa.
What are its benefits?
Miswak is zero waste, vegan, totally compostable and has strong anti microbial benefits. The following extract from Miswak: A periodontist's perspective even claims it may be a better choice than a toothbrush in some circumstances:
"Most of the studies discussing the efficacy of Miswak and modern tooth brushes have shown a superior or comparable effect of Miswak over the use of tooth brushes. Danielsen B et al. compared the efficacy of Miswak and use of tooth brush and they found that the use of Miswak was associated with a significant reduction of dental plaque and gingivitis along with a comparable or superior oral hygiene effect."
The same effect was found in a 2014 randomised clinical trial whose results can be found here: Comparative Effectiveness of Chewing Stick and Toothbrush: A Randomized Clinical Trial
How do I use it?
Each time you use your Miswak stick you peel a little of the outer bark away and crush the end with your teeth to form a little toothbrush. You then clean the surface of your teeth with the bristles.
Alternatively a small section of the stick can be chewed to release the juice which is then swirled around the mouth.
How do I look after it?
Miswak dries out quite quickly so it needs to be kept out of the air (could we suggest a small wax wrap?) but if you do find it's gone too woody just soak it in water until the bristles are soft again.
How does it taste?
Miswak has a rich, resin-like taste. Not as strong as some mouthwashes but definitely noticeable.
Want to give it a go?
You can buy our natural Miswak here and don't forget to pin and share.