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The magical daatun

To most urban folks, this term would be unfamiliar, even though some of us might have seen rural folk walk around with a stick in their mouth. Fikar Not ! Here is your primer to the daatun, the humble toothbrush of the villages.

It is basically a 6 inch long piece of a stem of the neem, guava, or other tree, preferably freshly plucked from the tree. To make this a brush, you chew one end for some time, until it breaks down into relative coarse britles, not far in resemblance to a painting brush with all bristles of the same length. While this is usually good enough for brushing the teeth, the more serious connoisseurs of the daatun actually go a step further and bite this whole bit off and spit it out. Then they proceed to start afresh on the daatun until yet another set of bristles, much softer and finer, make their appearance. This is then rubbed vigorously on and around the teeth and gums, pretty much like a toothbrush.

There are many variations to this final act. Some people use a tooth powder, usually red like Dabur Laal Dant Manjan, or white like Colgate Tooth Powder. Others, usually belonging to the older generation, prefer ash from the previous nights embers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the same black sooty stuff that the dungcakes turn into after they have been consumed the previous night for cooking. And while most of you might crinkle your noses at the very thought, as an experienced user of the same, I can confidently assert that it feels far better than any FMCG created toothpaste can even dream of feeling. Yes, when the ash particles rub against the tooth surface, you can actually feel the cleaning happening.

Of course, dentists will frown at the practice and come up with a million problems with that, I would like to point out that I never saw a single case of tooth decay, pyorrhea, gingivitis or any other dental problem in anyone below 50 years of age in my village. Everyone had gleaming white teeth and were more than happy to give you a demonstration of the strength of their teeth and gums by chewing a sugarcane, many of which were amply available during summers.

As if this is not enough, the best bit of a daatun is the fact that being a stem from a tree, particularly neem, it had immense medicinal properties and the gentle massage that you gave to the gums went a long way in ensuring total dental hygiene. Trust me folks, nothing is better for your teeth and gums than a neem daatun.

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Written very truly, Even these a days few studies scientifically prove that Daatun has more benefits than ToothBrush, but stats are not made public since that will reduce the toothbrush sale.

Keep posting.
Cheers

I myself use ash for cleaning my teeth. It is simply marvellous. It not only cleans teeth effectively but also removes the fowl smell of mouth.

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