Few years back, it used to be a common sight in my village, to see someone plucking a neem branch in the morning, make a tooth brush out of it and brush. But all that is changing now, it is a rare sight to see someone use neem bark as a tooth brush. With very attractive advertisements for commercial tooth paste and brushes increasing everyday, our humble neem sticks don’t stand a chance. I remember one of our relatives, who was well into his late eighties used to proudly say to me that he can bite into anything. He was right, with the traditional diet rich in natural fibers, less in sugar and using natural tooth brushes, I am very sure our elders had a stronger teeth than us. Both neem and licorice can be used to brush our teeth daily, and both have amazing teeth benefits. I am not suggesting that we should only brush our teeth with these natural brushes, but we should try to use these natural brushes, as often as we can. Benefits of brushing with natural brushes are : 1. For Gum disease & Tooth decay: Nothing can beat gum diseases than these natural brushes. Especially neem tooth brush has been known to prevent tooth decay. Chewing on the tender bark of these roots, helps the juices to flow into our mouth. These antibacterial juices prevent gum diseases very effectively. 2. For Mouth odor: Moth odor is usually caused by the bacteria present in the mouth. Since both neem and licorice root have antibacterial properties, they prevent mouth odor very effectively. If you suffer from mouth odor regularly, regularly use one of these to brush your teeth before going to bed for a few days. You will find the problem gone very soon. 3. For Tooth Ache: nothing can beat tooth ache like these two roots. When you have a toothache, take a licorice root and chew on it, make sure to do it using the affected tooth. You will find the toothache gone very soon. Licorice root is sold dry, so you can use it wherever you are but with neem we usually use only the fresh bark. Though finding fresh neem bark is difficult for some, it can double up as a tongue cleaner too. Peel of the thin layer from a fresh bark, bend it to get a u shape, your homemade tongue cleaner is ready! For children, chewing on neem will be difficult, as it is bitter, but they can be taught to chew on licorice and I am sure they will do it readily, as licorice is sweet. If they use these from young age, chance of them getting dental problems will greatly reduce.
1. For Licorice: Take a thin licorice root and pound one end of it using a stone. Since licorice roots are hard, I prefer to pound it using a stone, to separate the end part. Now it can be used as a brush.
2. For Neem: Take a fresh tender branch, remove the leaves and start chewing on one end. Now it is ready to be used as a brush. It will be very bitter when you bite into it, if you don’t want the bitterness, pound it just like the licorice root and use.
3. For Tongue Cleaner: Take a little hard branch, not too hard, it will be hard to peel and not too tender, it will tear. Start peeling from one end, bend it to you shape, your homemade tongue cleaner is ready!
- After brushing with licorice root, cut the used, top part and store it to be reused the next time.
- Encourage children to brush with licorice root or neem root at least weekly once.