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How to use a toothstick a.k.a. Miswak / Sewak

 
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Hi everyone

I'm sure many of you have come across this before. An alternative to plastic toothbrushes, and probably still today the most commonly used tooth cleaning device on the planet

But having started with some hazel sticks, I had some questions for anyone with experience of this.

Firstly, how did/do indigenous people keep their toothsticks. I presume they just take a stick from a tree as they need it, but living in London, I have to take a few sticks and keep them stored. Problem is they start to dry out and go hard. I've put them in an airtight jar, and will see how that goes but I've read that other toothsticks sweat, so mabe these will do the same.

Also, what woods / roots that I could grow in the UK do not disintegrate as you use it? Hazel tends to do it. I haven't tried any others, but I've got some licorice root on order, and may try some others.

Thanks
 
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I have similar questions. I tried a number or different trees and found that I liked juniper, or eastern red cedar, the best. When I tried to harvest extras for later use, they didn't seem to work as well when they dried out. I mean, if I worked at it long enough it would eventually soften up and work, but I wonder if it lost some of the natural anti-microbial properties of the wood when it dried? Last year I bought some dried licorice root from a health food store and it had great flavor and was even kinda foamy, but it seemed like it got too soft to really work well as a brush.

-WY
 
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