Everyone knows the importance of brushing your teeth. It is essential to maintaining good oral health and hygiene and helps to prevent tooth decay. In America, we are lucky to have easy access to toothbrushes and toothpaste, however, many cultures who don’t have found alternative methods. A significant portion of these alternative brushing methods have been around for centuries and are just as effective as the utensils you have at home.
We’ve already explored the interesting and effective ways of the miswak stick. This twig deriving from the Salvadora Persica tree is a tried and true method for keeping your teeth clean. Predominately used in Muslim cultures and Africa, the stick effectively removes plaque while freshening breath and requires no toothpaste. It’s anti-bacterial properties aid in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria that may cause tooth decay.
Since cleanliness is synonymous with godliness, many cultures who use the miswak stick see it as a form of spiritual practice. This method has been adapted to the Western world and many Americans have experimented with this organic form of oral care. While there are many benefits to using a miswak stick, they have still not been proven to be more effective than regular cleanings from your dentist in Beverly Hills CA.
Native Americans often used clusters of pine needles to clean their teeth. While the experience seems to be somewhat uncomfortable, the thin pine needles effectively reached areas in between the teeth. Chewing on pine needles helps reduce odors in the mouth and leaves the breath nice and fresh.
Aboriginals were also known to use twigs as toothbrushes. Indigenous trees such as Oak or Maple were used among Native Americans as well as the colonies that had settled from England. Similar to the miswak stick, twigs were chewed on and softened to create ideal bristles for brushing.
While the Japanese have adopted conventional methods of brushing, their execution of the oral hygiene task is taken very seriously. Hamigaki (or tooth-brushing) is practiced after every meal. The practice is taken so seriously that hamigaki has become a part of a school child’s routine. Songs, like the one by Shonen Knife below, have even been created to keep children entertained while brushing and ensure that they are brushing for the appropriate amount of time. We should take note!
We’d suggest you follow a more Japanese style of brushing before trying out some twigs.
For more information on oral health in Beverly Hills, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rodney Raanan today.