HOW SHOULD A MISWAAK BE USED?

A Miswaak should be held in such a manner

that the small finger and thumb is below the miswaak and the remaining fingers on its upper side.

Brushing technique:

The techniques employed for removing plaque mechanically are simi­lar to that for the toothbrush and the chewing stick; i.e., vertical and horizontal brushing. The cleaning movement should always be di­rected away from the gingival margin of the teeth (away from the gums) on both the buccal (outer cheek) and lingual (inner cheek) sur­faces.

Care should be taken to avoid damaging the soft tissues of the mouth. Satisfactory cleaning can be achieved if this procedure is followed for five minutes.

There are two basic holds: Pen-grip (three-finger) or palm-grip (five finger-grip). In each case the aim is to ensure firm but controlled movement of the brush end of the Miswaak within the oral cavity, so that every area of the mouth is reached with relative ease and conven­ience.

Freshness:

Miswaak should be freshly cut so that it is supple, easily chewed, and still rich in active constituents. The root should be whitish-brown in color; a dark brown color indicates that the Miswaak is no longer fresh.

If a stick is dry, the end for chewing should initially be soaked in fresh water for 24 hours. It should be noted that soaking for unduly long pe­riods causes loss of active constituents and diminishes the therapeutic properties, although the mechanical effects on the teeth can still occur. The end: Before Miswaak is used, the end should be washed with wa­ter. It is then chewed repeatedly until the fibers stand out like the bris­tles of a toothbrush. These fibers should be trimmed every 24 hours. When to use Miswaak:

In general, the Miswaak should be used a minimum of five times a day (i.e. before each prayer). However it is recommended to use it all the time, whenever possible.

Common mistakes in Miswaak use:

1. The end is either too thin or too thick. 2. Keeping it in the mouth while doing other things. 3. Not cutting the end every day. 4. Forgetting that teeth have five faces (inner, outer, two sides, and bit­ing/chewing face), and only using Miswaak to clean the outer faces.

AADAAB (Etiquette) OF THE MISWAAK

(1) The Miswaak should be a straight twig, devoid of roughness.

(2) The Miswaak should be clean.

(3) The Miswaak should not be too hard nor too soft.

(4) The Miswaak should not be used while one is lying down.

(5) The new Miswaak should be approximately 8 inches (a hand-span) in length.

(6) The Miswaak should be the thickness of the forefinger.

(7) Before using the Miswaak, it should be washed.

(8) After use it should be washed as well.

(9) The Miswaak should not be sucked.

(10) The Miswaak should be placed vertically when not in use. It should not be thrown onto the ground.

(11) If the Miswaak is dry it should be moistened with water prior to use. This is Mustahab. It is preferable to moisten it with Rose water.

(12) The Miswaak should not be used in the toilet.

(13) The Miswaak should be used at least thrice (brush three times) foreach section of the mouth, e.g. brush the upper layer of teeth thrice, then the lower layer thrice, etc.

(14) The Miswaak should not be used at both ends.

(15) The Miswaak should not be taken from an unknown tree as it may be poisonous.

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