Using a toothbrush regularly is the best ways to keep our teeth and gums healthy. But which toothbrush is best? For centuries people around the world cleaned their teeth with the natural toothbrush tree. After the advent of plastic, synthetic toothbrushes people adopted this new and cheap tool for cleaning their teeth. The article helps us learn about 'Either synthetic or plastic toothbrush better than natural toothbrush? Or natural toothbrush (Miswak) is a better tool to keep dental health and hygiene?
The synthetic toothbrush consists of a plastic handle and nylon bristles attached to the head of the brush. Toothbrushes have been made from synthetic fibers, although animal bristles are still sometimes used.
Indian medicine (Ayurveda) used the twigs of the neem or banyan tree to make toothbrushes and other oral-hygiene-related products for millennia. In the Muslim world, the usage of miswak—a type of chewing stick consisting of the roots or twigs of the Arak tree, is common practice and dates to pre-Islamic times. Today many still use Miswak as their primary preventive measure in oral hygiene. Majority of people from Muslim countries use Miswak to brush their teeth.
Natural toothbrush (or miswak) vs plastic toothbrush:
- The Miswak is a natural toothbrush. Studies conducted on the Miswak prove that it is better than toothbrush or toothpaste for preventing gum disease. This article offers useful information regarding use of natural tooth brush verses regualar plastic toothbrush (and toothpaste).
- Miswak is being known as chewing stick in the western world and is being looked upon as a form of alternative medicine. It is composed of a compact group of minute natural fibers that perform exactly the same function as a normal toothbrush except that it is made of natural rather than plastic fibers.
- Miswak is composed of a compact group of minute natural fibers that perform exactly the same function as a normal toothbrush except that it is made of natural rather than plastic fibers. For this reason it may be gentler on the gums.
- A clinical trial study on Ethiopian school children, comparing Miswak with the conventional toothbrush, found Miswak to be as effective as the toothbrush in removing oral deposits.
- By contrast with the conventional plastic toothbrush, the miswak can be used anytime, anywhere.
Research studies about use of Miswak:
The Wrigley Company made a study on Miswak which was published in 'The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry'. The study found that mints laced with Miswak extract were 20 times more effective in killing bacteria than ordinary mints. A small testimony to this fact is that after half an hour, the mints laced with Miswak extract killed about 60% of Thè bacteria where as the ordinary mints managed only 3.6%
In August issue of Journal of Periodontology (2008) appeared a study, conducted by Swedish researchers on Miswak. The study apparently found that suspended Miswak pieces in a petridish (medium for culturing bacteria) were able to kill bacteria that cause periodontal disease with out being in physical contact with the bacteria. The researchers suggested that Miswak might be giving antibiotics as gases trying to explain this phenomenon.
A study which compares toothbrushing and using Miswak can be seen on Pubmed (U.S National Library for Medicine Service). The study concluded that Miswak was more effective than toothbrushing in reducing plaque and gingivitis provided it was used correctly. Similar studies found on the same website and elsewhere vouch for the effectiveness of Miswak over toothbrush.
The World Health Organization recommends the use of the miswak in international consensus reports on oral hygiene published in 1986 and in 2000.
Toothbrush performs these important tasks for out dental hygience and health:
- To clean teeth and interdental spaces where food remnants debris and stains accumulate.
- To prevent plaque formation by mechanically disrupting it.
- To stimulate and massage gingival tissues.
- To clean tongue.
Now check it with the benefits we get from natural toothbrush (miswak):
Health benefits of Miswak:
- Kills gum disease causing bacteria.
- Fights plaque effectively.
- Fights against caries.
- Removes Bad breath and odor from mouth and creates a fragrance in the mouth.
- Effectively clean between teeth due to its parallel bristles.
- Increases salivation and hence inhibits dry mouth (Xerostomia)
So what is your choice?
* The NewYork Time article, 'We need to rethink plastic. The boar’s-hair toothbrush is not our only alternative.'