African chewing stick is a stick or twig cut from some species of trees that in many cultures around the world serves to take care of oral hygiene. Before the expansion of the toothbrush and toothpaste, it was a common and useful tool for brushing teeth, as it helps prevent caries and periodontitis.
In Africa, chewing sticks are cut from the Salvadora persica tree, also known as the “toothbrush tree.” In Islam, the branches of this tree are called miswak and are frequently mentioned in hadiths, the writings on the teachings and life of Muhammad.
Can you swallow African chew sticks?
Generally, the African chewing stick is edible and can be ingested. Usually, you tend to get as much juice out of it when you chew it and spit it out. However, it can happen that you swallow it, albeit, involuntarily. Don’t panic… It’s completely safe.
How does a chewing stick work?
To use the chewing stick, chew one of the two ends of the stick until the outermost part is removed. By continuing to chew, a structure similar to the bristles of the toothbrush forms, which allows the user to rub their teeth.
When the natural bristles start to change color, which would happen after a couple of days, it is advisable to cut this piece of stick and repeat the process from the beginning.
Using chew sticks for dogs
Chew sticks for dogs is a good complement to brushing their teeth. They ensure an abrasive action on tartar. They also significantly slow the return of dental plaque and tartar. Some of the sticks contain active ingredients.
This is the case of the veggiedent strips, which contain chlorhexidine, an antiseptic which acts on bacteria, germs, and certain fungi such as Candida Albicans.
The prozym contains, in particular, enzymes derived from whey whose action stimulates the immune system and the production of antibodies. The effectiveness of this product has been scientifically proven by independent studies: it reduces existing tartar by 40% and the formation of biofilm (micro-organisms attaching themselves to the tooth) by 70%.
How to use it?
Offer this chewable product to your pet as a supplement to its main diet, preferably after meals. Do not leave your dog alone while it is chewing.
- When your dog chews on the sticks, ensure that it constantly scrapes the teeth and gum against the hard surface to remove every tartar or plaque buildup.
- After then, give the puppy a dental stick to stay in the mouth for a while before flossing properly.
Do chew sticks clean your teeth?
What is the difference between a classic toothbrush and a chewing stick? Better one or better the other?
The toothbrush can be made of synthetic or natural fibers, which, as it passes over the surface of the teeth and gums, collects and takes away the residual food. The use of toothpaste is necessary because it alone does not have cleaning or disinfectant substances.
The chewing stick on the other hand, is naturally rich in substances that favor the cleaning of the teeth, equal to or in some respects superior to that of the toothbrush.
Here are the benefits:
- It sanitizes the entire mouth, teeth, and gums
- The naturally contained substances promote gingival circulation.
- helps keep teeth white by removing coffee, wine, or tea stains.
- It keeps the gums clean and inflamed, preventing ailments such as pyorrhea.
- It effectively cleans teeth without attacking or scratching them.
- It promotes the elimination of caries.
- It prevents the formation of plaque and tartar
- freshens breath
So back to the question – Does the chewing stick clean teeth? Of course, yes. Its natural antibacterial action reduces the bacterial load present inside the mouth, creating a hostile environment for the establishment of plaque, tartar, and caries.
Do chew sticks work?
Yes, it does work… And perfectly too.
So why do you think the sticks are so valuable for cleaning teeth? Among the main properties, it should be noted that it:
- whiten your teeth,
- Helps prevent the formation of cavities, plaque and tartar
- Sanitizes the mouth and freshens the breath in a single gesture
- stimulates gingival circulation helping to cure pyorrhea
- Removes coffee, smoke and wine stains without being abrasive to the enamel
- It is biodegradable and compostable, unlike common plastic toothbrushes, because it is 100% natural
What it contains and why it works?
Scientific studies have shown that the root contains good quantities of fluorine and silicon, vitamin C, sulfur, salvadorine, trimethylamine, enzymes, tannin, saponin, flavonoids, sterols: substances with high antiseptic and antibacterial properties for the oral cavity and protective of the gums.
It also contains minerals such as potassium, sodium hydrochloride, sodium bicarbonate, and calcium oxides with whitening and strengthening properties for the enamel.
It is then able to activate ptyalin, an enzyme in saliva that is useful in sanitizing the mouth and removing stains from teeth.
Its antibacterial properties are able to prevent the proliferation of bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans, which is one of the causes of dental plaque and one of those responsible for the onset of caries and gingivitis.
The advantages and disadvantages of chewing sticks
The effectiveness of the chewing stick is due to two things. On one hand, there is a mechanical effect of the fibers on the dental plaque, and on the other hand, the stick releases antimicrobial and protective substances during its use.
The chewing stick is therefore effective against cavities, dental plaque, and gingivitis. Its benefits are numerous. They include;
- An antiseptic that gently cleans teeth and gums thanks to alkaloids like salvadorine that kill bacteria and microbes.
- A protector against cavities, in particular thanks to fluoride. Numerous studies have demonstrated its effectiveness against cavities.
- A whitener that helps get rid of stains on teeth.
- A sanitizer that fights bad breath
- A gum protector that helps reduce small bleeds and strengthens the gums.
- A good way to eliminate dental plaque, thanks to silica and the astringent effect of tannins. The use of the chewing stick (siwak or miswak) is more effective against dental plaque than that of a classic toothbrush associated with a classic toothpaste.toothpaste.
- Aid in the healing of small mouth sores
- In addition, the siwak promotes salivation and therefore reduces the effect of dry or pasty mouth. This is due to its slightly bitter taste.
How about the disadvantages?
Of course, everything that has advantages definitely has disadvantages. The chew stick isn’t excluded. Let’s take a look at some of them;
- The possibility of having a gum injury.
- Cutting off the trees branches or root is not in the best interest of the ecosystem.
- You’ll have to monitor children and dogs when in use, as any less monitoring can result in ineffectiveness and injury.
- Using chewing sticks can be quite time-consuming.
We all care a lot about the health of our teeth and oral hygiene because we know how important it is and how it improves the quality of life. As always, from nature, we can get everything we need to take care of our bodies. This is where the African chewing stick comes in.