3 Surprising Alternatives to Toothbrushes

Posted on 6/21/2021 by Thomas Wold, DMD
3 Surprising Alternatives to ToothbrushesDid you know that there are millions of people around the world who do not use a toothbrush to clean their teeth? It is not that they are negligent of their oral health and hygiene, but rather, they have found alternatives to keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Many indigenous tribes and the rural population in the developing countries rely on alternative methods and products for their oral care.

In the regions of the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia, the twig from the Salvador Persica tree, known as miswak, is a popular alternative for toothbrush and toothpaste. Its medicinal properties make it an effective alternative to keep gums and teeth strong and healthy.

The other 3 surprising alternatives to toothbrushes are:

Brick Power, Mud and Salt

In some countries of Africa, India, South America and Southeast Asia, people use mix brick powder, mud and salt to clean their teeth. Although the active ingredients present in this mixture are helpful for removing stains and preventing plaque formation, the abrasive nature of this mixture can make the teeth sensitive. And as this mixture does not contain fluoride, it leads to receding gums and exposes teeth and gums to oral infections and tooth decay.


Charcoal is a traditional as well as a modern-day ingredient for cleaning and whitening teeth. Quite a few kinds of toothpaste have activated charcoal powder in them to whiten teeth and prevent bacterial growth. In fact, charcoal has made such a dramatic comeback in oral care that today, even toothbrushes have their bristles made out of charcoal extracts. But in rural and tribal areas of the world, charcoal is crushed, and its power is used to brush teeth. Charcoal is a mild abrasive that effectively removes stains from the surface of teeth.

Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil and Olive Oil

This method of teeth cleaning was first introduced in ancient Indian civilization and is quite popular amongst the practitioners of Ayurveda. This method is known as oil pulling. A small amount of coconut sesame, olive oil and sunflower oil are mixed together, and the mixture is used to rinse the mouth for 15 minutes. It is said that together, these oils remove bacteria and toxins from our mouth and help reduce gum inflammation. In India, oil pulling is used for preventing oral diseases and keeping the teeth and gums healthy.

At Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend, Thomas E. Wold, DMD and can help you understand how to take proper care of your teeth in order to keep your teeth and gums perfectly healthy. So, give us a call at (541) 389-0261 and book your appointment today.
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