Teeth cleaning twig
A Datun (Arabic: السواك), (Hindi: दातुन), Miswak, Teeth Cleaning Twig, Twig Toothbrush, Bush Toothbrush, Tooth Twig, Chew Stick, or Chewing Stick is a tool made from a twig from a tree with antimicrobial properties. It can thus help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Chew sticks are twigs with a frayed end used to brush against the teeth, while the other end was used as a toothpick. The earliest chew sticks have been dated to Babylonia in 3500 BC and an Egyptian tomb from 3000 BC; they are mentioned in Chinese records dating from 1600 BC.
In Africa, chew sticks are made from the tree salvadora persica, also known as the "toothbrush tree."
Teeth cleaning twigs can be obtained from a variety of tree species. Although many trees are used in the production of teeth cleaning twigs, some trees are better suited to clean and protect the teeth, due to the chemical composition of the plant parts. The tree species are:
- Salvadora persica
- Tea Tree
- Neem in Indian subcontinent
- Vachellia nilotica, also called Babool or Kikar in Indian subcontinent
- Dalbergia sissoo, also called Sheesham in Indian subcontinent
When compared to toothbrushes, teeth cleaning twigs have several advantages:
- Reported similar dental protection as toothbrushes 
- More ecological in its life-cycle
- Lower cost (0-16% of the cost of a toothbrush)
- Independence from external supplier if made at home from privately owned trees
- Low maintenance, with some twigs need moistening with water if they become dry, to ensure the end is soft. The end may be cut afresh to ensure hygiene, and should not be stored near a sink. The twig is replaced every few weeks to maintain proper hygiene.
- No need for toothpaste
- Can combat bad breath (e.g. Cinnamon)
- Over extensive scrubbing can damage the gums 
- Panati, Charles (2013). Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things. HarperCollins. pp. 208–209. ISBN 978-0-06-227708-4.
- Yu, Hai-Yang; Qian, Lin-Mao; Zheng, Jing (2013). Dental Biotribology. Springer. pp. 18–19. ISBN 978-1-4614-4550-0.
- Vagbhata – Writer, Physician, Legend in http://homeofayurveda.org
- 'Legacy of Vagbhata' by M. S. Valiathan, Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine
- Hindi Wiki on Datun
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