Ever wonder how it is that modern day Muslims have such white teeth even though they eat modern foods? Their secret is that cleanliness is a part of their religious ritual. And they do not use a toothbrush but prefer the method taught to them by prophet Mohammad (SAW). That is, they clean their teeth with a simple stick or twig from a fibrous bush.
Everyone is naturally born with white teeth, but not everyone grows up to have bright ones. The hallmark of a beautiful smile is bright teeth, which is also a sign of good health, good nutrition and proper dental hygiene. But some people who are lacking in one or more of these prerequisites may have teeth that are off-white or yellow incolor, especially if they smoke tobacco or drink coffee. Today, a vast majority of people go through a lot just to have that sparkling smile, but as a Muslim the sunnah of the prophet(SAW) has paved an easy and affordable way to brighten that smile by the use of Miswak.The Miswak, referred to at times as a chewing stick by Westerners, is obtained from the twigs of the Arak, or Peelu tree. Many others varieties are in common use, including walnut and olive. It’s also an alternative form of medicine.
More than 1400 years ago, the Prophet (pbuh) prescribed the use of Miswak. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Had I not thought it difficult for my Ummah, I would have commanded them to use the Miswak (tooth-stick) before every Salat.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Today, scientists have discovered the enormous importance of using Miswak, and here are some of their findings:
Kills Bacteria That Cause Gum Disease
The siwak according to a research conducted by Wrigley company concluded that mint 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 the bacteria where as the ordinary mints managed only 3.6%. According to another study, it was proved that it is able to kill bacteria that cause periodontal disease with out being in physical contact with the bacteria.
According to study comparing the use of siwak to toothbrush, The Miswak appeared to be more effective than tooth brushing for removing plaque from the embrasures. The study concluded that Miswak was more effective than tooth brushing in reducing plaque and gingivitis provided it was used correctly.
Fight against cavities
The major advantages of the Miswak include strengthening of the gums and preventing tooth decay. It also assists in eliminating toothaches and prevents further increase of decay which has already set in. siwak is known to fight against tooth cavities as a result of the chemical compound it contains namely calcium, chloride, bicarbonate as well as the fluoride.
Fight mouth odor
The siwak is found to contains over ten different natural chemical compounds considered essential for good oral and dental hygiene.They are: fluoride, silica, tannic acid, resins, alkaloids (salvadorine), volatile oils, sulfur vitamin C, sodium bicarbonate, chlorides, calcium, benzylisothiocyanate (BIT), and others. Some of these components are stain removers and teeth whiteners, some protect teeth against caries, some are bactericidal and antiseptic, some help in healing and to repair tissues, some promote remineralization (building) of tooth enamel, and some give the pleasant taste and smell.
Prevent Dry Mouth
The siwak is a soft and brittle twig as such it requires chewing repeatedly until the fibers stand out like the bristles of a toothbrush, thus releasing its natural chemical compounds. Simultaneously, our salivary glands constantly secret saliva, keeping the mouth wet and creating a fragrance in the mouth that eliminates bad odors and improves the sense of taste, causes the teeth to glow, assists in digestion and clears the voice.
This information should not come as a surprise to Muslims since we already know these fact. But it acts as a reminder that we must always follow the sunnah of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) in order to live a good and healthy life.