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Travel Photo of the Day: India’s Datun

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A datun is a tooth cleaning twig or root from a certain number of plants. One end is used to brush the teeth while the other end is often used as a toothpick.

The history of chew sticks, or datun, has been traced back to the Babylonians in 3500 BCE and the Egyptians in 3000 BCE. There have been records in Chinese history from 1600 BC.

In our modern era, Africans, Middle Easterners, and Indians are still known to use datun, or what is locally known as miswak or hadith for Islamic Indians.

The disadvantages of chew sticks may be obvious, but there are plenty of advantages over today’s conventional means as well:.

  1. Free
  2. Eco-friendly
  3. Abundant supply
  4. Natural cleaning compounds (not all trees used for chew sticks have these)

Want to try out a datun? Grab a twig from an apple, orange, walnut, fig, walnut, silver birch, bamboo or willow tree, and “brush” away!


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