Riyadh — The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) advised people to check the source of miswak before buying and using it to avoid contaminated and moldy types.
Miswak, a natural toothbrush with medicinal properties, is a twig used by most people in Muslim countries to brush their teeth.
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The authority explained that miswak is the designated part from the roots, stems, or branches of plants and trees to clean and perfume the mouth and teeth. The more popular plants used for making miswak are Arak, Neem, and Basham.
Most people in Saudi Arabia and many other Arab countries use sticks or twigs from Arak, the Salvadora Persica tree. The chewing stick.
SFDA urged the safe use of miswak. It advised caution when buying a miswak product by staying away from unknown sources. SFDA says these can be from rotting tree roots or soaked with unknown substances to give a pungent taste.
SFDA stressed the importance of cleanliness and good washing of it before using it by cutting bristles frequently and avoiding placing it in pockets exposed to dirt.
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The authority noted the importance of buying vacuum-packed miswak, which is in a sterile and well-closed pouch; with the expiry date written on it to protect it from exposure to sources of pollution.
The authority warned against buying those products that have medical claims; such as using miswak as a treatment for tooth decay or gum disease; because it is only a means of cleaning and preventing illness.