I decided the first place to start with my zero waste transition would be personal care products. While researching I found that every year over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes that will never biodegrade are dumped in landfills and oceans! As a scuba diver, I have seen the harmful impacts of plastic on our oceans and our marine life and I decided I did not want to contribute to the wasteful dental care industry any longer. I decided to try using the first toothbrush in the history of humankind; the miswak stick used by ancient civilizations from the Babylonians, the Greek to the Romans and the ancient Egyptian civilization.
Benefits of Miswak
Besides being 100% organic and completely compostable the Miswak stick is filled with natural minerals such as potassium, sodium, chloride, sodium bicarbonate and calcium oxides. These ingredients are said to strengthen the tooth enamel. The bark contains an antibiotic which surpresses the growth of bacteria and the formation of plaque. Research shows that regular use of miswak significantly reduces plaque, gingivitis and growth of cariogenic bacteria. It is naturally strengthens and protects the enamel with resins and mild abrasives for whiter teeth and fresher breath. Additionally, miswak sticks massages the gums for healthier teeth! For all of us coffee and tea lovers, miswak reduces stains from coffee and teas too! The form of the twig makes it easier to get to the hard to reach places for a standard toothbrush.
How To Use Miswak?
Use a scissor to trim or chew the bark off one end of the stick; about a 1/2 inch. Chew on the exposed end until the twig forms bristles. Brush as usual. No toothpaste required. The miswak will freshen the mouth. Every few days (when bristles look like an old broom) cut off the exposed bristles, peel bark and start anew.
Rs 20 and found outside any mosque.
Miss "Brushing" your teeth with Bristles?
While I read all about the dental benefits of miswak, I stilled missed brushing my teeth with a toothbrush, so I decided to buy compostable Brush with Bamboo toothbrush. I use the brush every morning and use the miswak stick every night.
You can buy our Bare Necessities compostable bamboo toothbrush here
How to make homemade toothpaste?
Baking soda - 1 tbs
Organic coconut oil - 2 tbs
Organic peppermint essential oils - 20 drops
Mix all the ingredients together and use a reusable spoon to scoop a little for every use.
Why make your own toothpaste?
The plastic toothpaste tubes are difficult or impossible to recycle and will most likely end up in a landfill. Many name-brand toothpastes and mouthwashes contain potentially harmful ingredients. Loaded with dangerous toxins and chemicals such as sodium fluoride, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and hydrated silica. All of these common ingredients have been found to be harmful to humans.
Savings from homemade toothpaste
Rs 108 x 6 months = Rs 648 annually.
Don't have time to make your own?
Buy our Bare Necessities Peppermint Party Toothpaste here