Daatun & Oral Health​

Can we imagine any morning without a toothbrush……………no really not, brushing our teeth is like a ritual?

Oh, then how did people used to clean their teeth in earlier days before the toothbrushes were invented? Something to really to ponder on………………

Oral hygiene has always been an important part of our life, it is essential to prevent dental caries and oral disorders. In earlier days also people used to clean their teeth but not with the plastic toothbrush but with herbal stick which is called datun or herbal stick or a chewing stick.

Datun is a fresh stem of specific plants and in some places of India still used for cleaning teeth, gums and mucosa. In other words, we can also say that datun is a herbal toothbrush which has been mentioned in Ayurveda 5000 years ago in India. The dental and oral problems were cured by chewing the stems of Neem (Azadirachta indica), licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), miswak (Salvadora persica) and orange (Citrus sinensis) were used by many societies and cultures across the globe for cleaning teeth.These sticks used to be soaked in water few hours before use to make it soft and chewable.  

These stems contain natural anti-microbial agents such as essential oils, tannic acid, sulphur and sterols which are anti-septic, astringent, bactericidal and have anti-carious effect, which help reducing plaque formation and prevent dental caries. It also removes bad odour and improves taste sensation. Therefore, datun has better cleansing effect along with many additional benefits such as increases saliva production, stimulates enzymes, improves taste, improves digestion and kill the bacterial growth. Therefore, this is a very effective tool for oral hygiene and of course economical and environmental friendly.

Now-a-days, apart from the simple plastic toothbrushes, we also have fancy toothbrushes such as battery operated toothbrushes, ultrasonic toothbrushes and titanium toothbrushes.

Table 1: Approximate amount of plastic generated from toothbrush in selected countries.    


Amount of plastic generated from toothbrush in tons

United States of America


United Kingdom






We are already struggling to manage the plastic waste. If we look at the above table, we are generating total 31 thousand tons of plastic from toothbrush just from the countries such as USA, UK, Canada and Australia. So, just imagine, if we do a complete analysis of toothbrushes used across the world it would end up in millions of tons of plastic being generated just from toothbrush.

And, when we are already struggling to manage the plastic waste then why not adopt an age-old tradition. Let’s support the environment, our pocket and get more benefits.


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