|Benefits of Miswak|
The miswak (miswaak, siwak, sewak, السواك) is a teeth cleaning twig made from a twig of the Salvadora persica tree (known as arak in Arabic). A traditional alternative to the modern toothbrush, it has a long, well-documented history and is reputed for its medicinal benefits.
Studies indicate that Salvadora persica extract exhibits low antimicrobial activity compared to other oral disinfectants and anti-plaque agents like Triclosan and Chlorhexidine Gluconate.
In addition to strengthening the gums, preventing tooth decay and eliminating toothaches, the miswak is also said to halt further increase in decay that has already set in. Furthermore, it is said to create a fragrance in the mouth, eliminate bad breath, improve sensitivity of taste-buds and promote cleaner teeth.
Maintenance of Miswak
A miswak should be one hand span in length when selected. If it becomes dry, it should be soaked in rose water to soften the end bristles. The end should be cut afresh to ensure hygiene and should never be stored near a toilet or sink. The brush may be created by cutting Salvadora persica’s branches instead of its roots; keeping in mind that the tree’s roots can retain humidity more so than its branches. This favors more long-term usage.
The techniques employed for removing plaque mechanically are similar with the
toothbrush and the chewing stick, e.g., vertical and horizontal brushing. However,
these techniques are less important than people’s attitudes, knowledge and manual dexterity.
There are two basic holds, Pen-grip (three- finger grip) or palm-grip (five-finger grip).
In each case the aim is to ensure:
a) Firm but controlled movement of the brush end of the Miswak within the oral cavity.
b) That every area of the mouth is reached with relative ease and convenience.
The cleaning movement should always be directed away from the gingival margin
of the teeth on both the buccal and lingual surfaces. An anterior-to-posterior
scrubbing movement is used on the occlusal surfaces. Care should be taken
to avoid damaging the soft tissues of the mouth. Satisfactory cleaning.
Miswak Pharmacological Properties
Studies have indicated that Salvadora persica contain substances that possess
plaque inhibiting and antibacterial properties against several types of cariogenic
bacteria which are frequently found in the oral cavity. The growth and acid production
of these bacteria is thus inhibited.
Release of calcium and chloride into saliva investigation has been reported that
immediate and medium-term effect of Miswak on the composition of mixed saliva.
The Miswak produced significant increases in calcium (22-fold) and chloride (6-fold),
and significant decreases in phosphate and pH. Calcium saturation of saliva inhibits
deminera- lization and promotes remineralization of tooth enamel whereas high
concentrations of chloride inhibit calculus formation.
The analgesic effect of Miswak decoction when injected to mice. Miswak was more
effective against thermal stimuli than against chemical stimuli. Should the
analgesic effect of Miswak be confirmed in clinical dental pain, e.g. superficial pain due to dental
hypersensitivity to thermal, tactile, or to chemical stimuli, Miswak will be of practical value.
Advantages of the Miswaak:
1. Miswaak strengthens the gums and prevents tooth decay.
2. Miswaak assists in eliminating toothaches and prevents further increase of decay which has already set in.
3. Miswaak creates a fragrance in the mouth.
4. Miswaak is a cure for illness.
5. Miswaak eliminates bad odors and improves the sense of taste.
6. Miswaak sharpens the memory.
7. Miswaak is a cure for headaches.
8. Miswaak creates lustre (noor) on the face of the one who continually uses it.
9. Miswaak causes the teeth to glow.
10. Miswaak strengthens the eyesight.
11. Miswaak assists in digestion.
12. Miswaak clears the voice.
Times when usage of Miswak is Required:
- When the mouth emits an odor.
- When experiencing pangs of hunger and thirst.
- Before meals.
- After meals
- Before sleeping.
- Upon awakening.