Teeth Cleaning Twigs

A Teeth cleaning twig can be made from a tree with antimicrobial properties. You might have one of these trees living in your own neighbourhood.

king parrots eating pearsTeeth cleaning twigs can be obtained from a variety of tree species. Although many trees are used in the production of teeth cleaning twigs, some trees are better suited to clean and protect the teeth, due to the chemical composition of the plant parts. The tree species are:[1][2][3][4][5]


When compared to toothbrushes, teeth cleaning twigs have several advantages:

  • Reported similar dental protection as toothbrushes [7]
  • More ecological in its life-cycle
  • Lower cost (0-16% of the cost of a toothbrush[8])
  • Independence from external supplier if made at home from privately owned trees
  • Low maintenance, with some twigs need moistening with water if they become dry, to ensure the end is soft. The end may be cut afresh to ensure hygiene, and should not be stored near a sink. The twig is replaced every few weeks to maintain proper hygiene.
  • No need for toothpaste
  • Can combat bad breath (e.g. Cinnamon[9])


  • Over extensive scrubbing can damage the gums [10]