Saudi Arabians and their Miswaks
Practice Manager, Shay-anne, worked for over 8 years in Saudi Arabian specialist dental. She assisted in the treatment of a range of local people, from professionals to Bedouins as well as visiting the Royal family in their Palaces. And they all had one thing in common: the ‘Miswak’.
What is miswak?
Twigs from the Salvadora percisa tree are cut into 10-12 cm lengths. One cm of the bark is chewed off at one end revealing fibre-like bristles, which are then ready to use, much like a regular toothbrush. It also leaves a fragrant smell and taste in the mouth. Depending on use, the bristles last up to a few weeks. Then the fibrous tips are removed and the next segment of bark is peeled away, to expose the new set of bristles.
The Miswak is used before religious practice or entering a house. Also commonly used before sleeping, after waking and whenever hunger or thirst is felt.
Benefits of use
The sticks contain minerals including sodium, chloride, sodium bicarbonate and calcium oxides, which aid in strengthening tooth enamel. It is said to strengthen gums, prevent or halt tooth decay, eliminate bad breath, improve the sensitivity of taste buds all while promoting cleaner teeth. Truly Nature’s toothbrush!