Good oral hygiene is necessary for your overall health. If you still have issues with cavities and gum disease, despite heeding your dentist’s advice, you might want to consider tossing out your toothbrush. Yes, you read that right.
Chucking your toothbrush in the trash (or better yet, recycling it), doesn’t mean that you stop cleaning your teeth and gums. It just means that there might be a better way to do it. In Ethiopia, for example, many people don’t use toothbrushes. Instead, they chew the twigs of the Salvadora persica, commonly referred to as the toothbrush tree.
The twigs of the toothbrush tree are made up of a very fibrous material. When chewed, the bristle-like fibers can easily get between teeth and into other places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. In addition, the twigs naturally contain anti-bacterial properties. And studies show that chewing your way to good oral health can be more effective than brushing your way there. The anecdotal evidence is in the smiles of the people living there.
If you would like to give twig-chewing a try, you won’t need a passport. You can find teeth-cleaning twigs at many natural health stores. Add oil pulling for an even healthier mouth.