I’m always hesitant to talk about dental care on the blog – it feels like the middle ground between healthy lifestyle and medicine, and I categorically don’t feature medical advice on here as I’m 100% not qualified to do so!
However, when it comes to brushing my teeth, I’ve already switched a few things since becoming more conscious of what I put in my body. Last year I told you about fluoride-free toothpaste, and now I’ve got an all-natural toothbrush to review!
When I say all natural, I genuinely mean it. For the last month or so I’ve been trialling the Swak Miswak Toothbrush 3.0*, and while I’ve had my ups and downs, I’ve decided to feature it because it’s a great step forward for living sustainably.
The premise for the Swak toothbrush is simple, and rooted culturally across the world, where many groups of people still use miswak twigs to clean their pearly whites. Taken from soft twigs of salvadora persica, the bristles of the brush contain natural amounts of the following nutrients:
You’ll notice that fluoride does make the list – and that’s actually not a bad thing, as it’s a lot more moderate compared to regular toothpaste.
The Swak toothbrush is a refined method of using miswak twigs (sat side-by-side in the photo), as its bristles are far less abrasive, and also do not come with the heady spicy scent that the stick has. If I’m honest, it was far too strong for me to even bear putting it in my mouth! It’s a wonder how such a smell can come from a plant!
One thing I was impressed with by the Swak brush is that it can be used without water or toothpaste, making it perfect for camping. To start using it, you have to nibble the bristles a little, easing them apart from one another, and then take it around all of your teeth. As it’s much smaller than a regular toothbrush, this takes a while, but means you take a lot more care to get every millimetre of enamel, and it’s particularly good for getting into any odd nooks and crannies, such as unhappy wisdom teeth (which I have on and off).
The downside with the Swak is that it doesn’t work great with toothpaste, nor does it clean my tongue as well as a regular brush. I’ve really grown to enjoy a clean tongue (sounds odd, doesn’t it?) so I still feel like my mouth just isn’t quite as clean as it could be after using it. However, I think Swak could easily make different size brushes!
The concept is a good one, and the fact that the bristles are recyclable, inexpensive to replace, and fit with any of their handles. I also love the handle I have, which is completely biodegradable too. Overall, I’d recommend moving up to a Swak if sustainability is your number one priority – I bet it works well with a little bicarbonate of soda too!