Siwak: Preventive Medicine for Your Teeth

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One of the best ways to protect one’s teeth is the siwak, which was mentioned in several sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Siwak are the wicks that are used to rub inside the mouth, and they get their name from the Arabic word “yudlik,” which can be roughly translated to mean “massage” (i.e., massage the inside of the mouth). It means more than “tooth brush.”


The best type of siwak is that which comes from the araak tree. The siwak of the Prophet (PBUH) was from that tree. The siwak is a natural twig fortified with natural minerals that help clean the teeth, other inhibitors that prevent gums from bleeding, cleaning agents that kill microbes and germs and a scent that gives breath a naturally fresh smell. The siwak is an ideal, natural brush that has been endowed with more than any artificial toothpaste could ever have.


Like a toothbrush, the wicks on the siwak clean between the teeth and do not break under any amount of pressure; rather, they are flexible

and strong. The small wicks bend to the appropriate shape to get plaque and leftover food out from in between teeth while avoiding any damage to the gums.


The Prophet (PBUH) taught us more than 1,400 years ago to use the siwak to clean our teeth and mouth and give it a nice scent. Anas quoted the Prophet (PBUH) as saying: “Whenever the Angel Gabriel would visit me, he would advise me to use the siwak.”


The leftovers of food found between teeth provide an excellent environment for the festering of millions of bacteria, which can lead to painful and bloody gum disease and cysts. In the worst cases, there can be inflammation of the jawbones.


Bacteria also produce damaging enzymes that eat away at the calcium of the teeth, which causes cavities. In severe cases, the bacteria produce gases that emit nasty stenches from the mouth. Recent studies have found that siwak has natural minerals that kill microbes and germs and remove plaque.


The Prophet (PBUH) used to rub the siwak over his tongue, teeth and gums. Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari said, “I visited the Prophet, peace be upon him, and the siwak was at the edge of his tongue.”

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