There are numerous benefits of miswak for your teeth, gums, and overall health. In this article, we’ll take a look at them.
Dental problems can make anyone lose their good night’s sleep, whether it’s a toothache, cavity, or gum infection. It can be frustrating, right? Such dental issues can be painful.
Sometimes, even the toothbrush bristles can make your teeth ache. Luckily, it isn’t the only method of keeping good oral hygiene. Let us introduce you to the master of teeth cleaning, Miswak.
Miswak stick (Salvadora persica) is a twig that comes from the stems of the Salvadora Persica tree, also known as ‘arak’ in Arabic. Often referred to as a chewing stick, it is used mainly for oral cleansing and is known to be just as effective if not superior to a toothbrush in this regard.
Scientific research on Miswak has brought to light its remarkable anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-cariogenic, and anti-plaque properties.
Miswak is an organic alternative to regular dental care methods and, it helps in preventing several dental problems. The 7 most surprising benefits of miswak are:
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1. Less plaque and bacteria
Plaque and bacteria can lead to discoloration of teeth, tooth enamel damage, and gum diseases. Plaque build-up can be problematic if left untreated.
The abrasive substances in miswak remove plaque from your teeth any bad bacteria in your mouth that might cause any oral health issues.
2. Fights cavities and tooth decay
Many available food options come loaded with sugar, which makes tooth decay and cavities almost inevitable. Luckily, miswak helps with both.
It promotes saliva production; this stops acid build-up, washes the bad bacteria out, and gives the teeth time to heal themselves. Its mineralization properties also help the teeth fight against decay.
Moreover, sodium bicarbonate, calcium, and chloride present in miswak make the tooth enamel stronger and assist in preventing cavities.
3. Whitens teeth
Miswak can help fight off even stubborn stains from coffee, tobacco, or tea thanks to its anti-bacterial properties and abrasive agents.
As it prevents the build-up of bacteria and plaque, it can lead to naturally whiter teeth. Additionally, abrasive agents present in miswak also fend off stains and make your teeth look whiter and better.
4. Makes gums strong
Many commercial toothpaste brands claim to make gums stronger, and it is their unique selling point. It is because the soft layer of tissue around your teeth, known as the gums, can reveal the condition of your dental health.
By making teeth plaque-free and bacteria-free, miswak aids in strengthening the gums as well.
5. Promotes fresh breath
Long-standing, foul-smelling breath, known as halitosis in medical terms, can signify underlying dental issues. The causes for it can include diet, less saliva, gum disease, or even gingivitis.
Using miswak removes bacteria, tartar, plaque and increases the production of saliva which curtails bad breath. Additionally, essential oils present in miswak leave a fresh aroma as well.
6. Eco-friendly and natural
It’s no secret that miswak is an all-natural alternative to commercial oral hygiene products. It’s sometimes best to go natural as most natural products provide more benefits with lesser side effects. Moreover, miswak is bio-degradable, making it a more environment-friendly option than the plastic toothbrush.
7. Saves money
Miswak is a much cheaper substitute for regular toothbrushes and toothpaste. Furthermore, as miswak is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and prevents plaque, it can save you from numerous oral problems such as gingivitis, tooth decay, dental carries, etc.
Having fewer dental problems can save your trip to the dentist now and then. It can save tons of money spent on dental treatments every year.
Miswak – History and Importance in Islam
With a history of more than 7,000 years, it is a traditional yet effective way of cleaning your teeth. Before the emergence of oral hygiene tools and products, miswak stick was used to keep teeth clean and gums strong. Looking at the bristles of the toothbrush, it is evident that it takes inspiration from miswak.
The use of miswak is recommended in Islam as well. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) used miswak and recommended it to Muslims several times in hadith. Due to this, miswak is more common in Muslim majority countries such as the Middle East, Pakistan, Malaysia, etc.
How to use Miswak?
The best thing is, it’s easy to use. Miswak doesn’t require the use of toothpaste. Here is a simple guide to help you.
Get a miswak stem and cut off half an inch of the twig using a knife.
After trimming it, chew on it until it starts forming bristles. After all, miswak is known as a chewing stick for a reason.
Soak the bristles side of the stem in water or rosewater for about 8 hours. You only need to soak it once before using it. To reuse it, you may skip this step unless it gets dry.
Use the miswak on your teeth just like a toothbrush. Using toothpaste isn’t required, but you can if you wish to.
After using the miswak for 5 days, trim it again with a knife or scissors and repeat the steps above.
Ingredients in Miswak
Now the question is, what makes miswak effective? It has several ingredients that aim to promote oral health. Here is the list of active agents present in miswak that make it a useful natural product to keep your oral health intact.
- Resins – protects teeth against dental caries by forming a layer around the enamel
- Silica – fights against plaque and has a whitening effect
- Alkaloids – anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effect on the teeth.
- Sulfur – anti-bacterial properties to protect the teeth from bacteria.
- Vitamin C – aids tissue repair and prevents damage
- Calcium – provides mineralization to the enamel
- Fluoride and chloride – Assists in mineralization and is vital for oral hygiene
- Tannic Acid or Tannins – decreases the development of plaque and gingivitis
- Sodium Bicarbonate – a natural teeth whitener
- Essential oils – Provides fresh aroma that keeps bad breath away and stimulates the production of saliva
Is Miswak better than routine teeth cleaning methods?
Many studies back the use of miswak as a viable tool for dental hygiene. It can be used alone or can be an addition to your current oral care regimen.
The benefits of miswak are too good to ignore. All-natural products are better for oral hygiene than commercial ones. It can also help prevent many dental issues and has active ingredients to address almost all things that may cause wear and tear to the teeth. We would recommend at least try using it to see its effect on your teeth yourself.