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With the increasing incidence of oral diseases attributed to poor oral hygiene, mechanical removal of dental plaque has been regarded as an effective means in the prevention of dental caries and periodontal diseases. The methods for oral hygiene vary from culture to culture and the dimensions regarding the global need for alternative prevention and effective treatment methods have expanded.


Evidence-based studies and clinical trials have revealed the use of Salvadora persica (miswak) as an effective oral hygiene aid by which different cultures have attached functional value since ancient times.


The World Health Organization recommends and encourages the use of miswak as an inexpensive and effective oral hygiene tool in areas where it is customary. Its availability, low-cost, simplicity, and use have been extensively studied in regions around the world where miswak can play a significant role in the promotion of oral hygiene. As a result, current and upcoming public health practitioners and the dental profession should become familiar with the application of miswak within its traditional customs. Furthermore, efficacy studies are warranted to determine the effectiveness and usefulness of any potential didactic training involving miswak use to educate health professionals.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Under a Creative Commons license and open access

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Aboul-Enein BH. The Miswak (Salvadora persica L.) chewing stick: Cultural implications in oral health promotion. The Saudi Journal for Dental Research, 2014; 5(1): 9-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ksujds.2013.06.002