ISSN: 0975-8798, 0976-156X
Kings College London, UK
Keynote: Ann Essence Dent
Statement of the Problem: The miswak is an Arabic word for tooth cleaning stick. It has been used for thousands of years in the Middle East. It comes from the Arak tree which is otherwise known as Salvadora Persica. The mechanical effects of miswak as a tooth cleaning stick are described in terms of efficacy of plaque removal, comparison with a conventional toothbrush and its use with orthodontic appliances. The main advantage of miswak over the conventional toothbrush is its chemical and pharmacological properties. The aim is to analyse these properties and to evaluate experimental data of miswak stick and extract on the oral micro biota and its effect in reducing the two most common dental diseases, caries and periodontal disease. Methodology and Theoretical Orientation: A literature review was carried out to assess the effect of miswak on oral hygiene. This included its antibacterial effect, in addition to its effect on caries and general periodontal health. A comparison was made between a conventional toothbrush and a miswak stick as a form of oral hygiene aid and between chlorhexidine mouthwash and the miswak stick. Conclusion and Significance: The miswak is a highly useful oral hygiene device that can be used by adults and children alike. At first it may just be seen as a stick. It has many mechanical and chemical properties which could allow it to surpass the conventional toothbrush in reducing plaque formation. Miswak could be a useful addition to a person’s oral hygiene regime. More research needs to be done to find the optimal frequency and duration for the use of the miswak.
Safa Helmy has experience in general dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery and is passionate about improving oral health. She is involved in education and improvement of oral health in the community. Her approach to patients is varied depending on patient factors and the environment and she is keen to keep up to date with new techniques and technologies.