sketch · the daily post

Chewing Stick

When I was young I remember asking my grandmother why she was chewing on a stick. She explained to me that nature had given us this chewing stick to clean our teeth.  This stick is known as Mswaki in Swahili. To this very day many people especially in the rural areas still prefer it over toothbrushes. They cut twigs from a shrub that usually grows in the wild. Chewing on these twigs releases juices that are believed to contain a natural antibacterial mouth wash and if swallowed can also aid in digestion. With all these qualities I now understand why the idea of buying a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouth wash must have sounded ridiculous to my grandmother.

Chewing Stick





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