Chewing sticks for healthy teeth

My tooth decay was annoying and caused excruciating pain, once again. This was the fourth time in a row, that I needed to visit the dentist. I found myself thinking, helplessly – ‘Did I ever thank Allah for this blessing. It’s surprising how I took it for granted, only realising it’s worth when I am suffering loss in it.’

The dentist could only come up with more faults in my dental health and described a list of problems I was facing. ‘Your previous filling has eroded and that’s the reason for your sensitive teeth,’ she commented. ‘I have filled the affected area, but you need to revisit for further examination.’

My worries only grew as she described various procedures I would need to go through, for preventing any further decay or other dental issues. My teeth were giving me a hard time. Health problems can become a serious form of trial, as they engulf a person on various levels. In this case, I had spent enough trying to save my teeth and was on the road to spend more.

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I couldn’t figure out what the root cause was for these decays. I always followed oral hygiene guidelines but still ended up with a tooth ache. It was time to find a permanent solution for this problem.

In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Had I not thought it difficult for my Ummah, I would have commanded them to use the Miswak (tooth-stick) before every Salah” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Once I began using the ‘miswak’, I was astonished at how much depth this hadith had. I started using it, believing that I will be able to save the remaining ones. However, I never predicted the end result. Apart from fulfilling my required expectation, I also experienced the below dental benefits of ‘miswak’:

  • Shiny-white teeth: My teeth are not shining literally but they do feel that way, now that I am using the ‘miswak’. Call me crazy but it feels like they shine when light reflects off them.
  • Strong Gums: No jokes here. The use of ‘miswak’ most certainly improves gum quality.   
  • Feels fresh: It leaves the mouth fresh and eliminates toothache. (keep clipping the top area from time to time in order to keep the stick fresh and use it daily)
  • It  curbs decay that has already set in. This most certainly surprised me.
  • Without any doubt, it is more effective than brushing with a toothbrush as it reduces risk of developing any form of oral disease.
  • This is my personal favourite – It is environmentally friendly, as the stick is biodegradable.
  • It is inexpensive and hence available to all

‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) has reported that, “The prayer before which the Miswak is used is 70 times more rewarding than that before which it is not used.”

The list is endless and I can write more than one article on this topic. But keeping it short, I will let you in, on how I incorporated it in my daily routine. I decided that rather than making a separate time where I can use the ‘miswak’, I would use it in those minutes of my life where it will be easy to fit it in:

  1. To use it before every salah
  2. To carry it in my bag while going to work
  3. To carry it while traveling
  4. To pass on this ‘Sunnah’ (teaching of Prophet) to my children (i.e, before they get their permanent teeth)
  5. To encourage family and friends to do the same

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Several people complain about dental problems. Many have been through multiple invasive procedures but very few take the measures to prevent it. People can save a lot of time, energy and resources, by simply making the use of ‘miswak’ a daily habit.

Allah has his ways of teaching us things. This experience defined to me the meaning of one of Allah’s 99 names: ‘Al Razzāq’ (The Sustainer or The Bestower of Sustenance). He didn’t just create us – He also created various forms of blessing for us and also created the tools required to sustain those blessings. Subhan Allah (All praise be to Allah)

“Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger is with those whom Allah has blessed.” [Surah Nisa 4, Verse 68] 

Fun fact: It’s been more than 5 years since I saw my dentist and I am hopeful that it will stay this way.

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