July 4, 2019
by Mena FN
Most people use toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss to clean their teeth, but their use is by no means universal. Many indigenous groups, as well as people in developing countries, use traditional techniques to clean their teeth. Some of these techniques are more effective than others.
Many people in the Middle East, and some parts of South and Southeast Asia, use twigs from the arak tree (known as miswak) to clean their teeth. They fray the end of the twig, dampen the resulting bristles with water or rosewater and then rub the bristles against their teeth (see video below). The wood of the arak tree (Salvadora persica) has a high concentration of fluoride and other antimicrobial components that prevent tooth decay.
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