Danta Dhauti, Dhauti, Cleaning of Teeth, Brushing Teeth
How to perform Dhauti
Danta Dhauti is one of the ‘Shatkriya’ or ‘Shatkarma’, the six cleaning techniques of Kriya yoga and means cleaning of teeth. It is the older way of brushing teeth.
Nowadays we have plastic toothbrushes at home to clean our teeth but before, when there was no toothbrush, Yogis used to take a fresh twig from the Neem-tree also known as “Azadirachta indica” or “Indian Lilac”.
Neem tastes bitter but is the most famous and recommended wood for this practice as it is antibacterial and kills germs in the whole mouth.
There are also other kinds of trees and woods which can be used for this cleansing practice.
Babul (Acacia nilotica) for example or Karanj (Millettia Pinnata or Indian Beech) which is good when you are suffering from diarrhea.
You can also use Khair (Acacia catechu) or Mahua (Madhuca Indica). Mahua tastes sweeter so children like it better.
If you have difficulties to find any of those trees you can also use a twig of Eucalyptus instead.
This method of cleaning works like this: you take the twig of the tree in the size of a tooth brush and start chewing it.
It should be fresh so that there is more juice in it and it is softer. If you don´t have a fresh one, soak one side of it in water over night.
Then take the soaked part into your mouth and chew it until it becomes soft and like a brush.
When you chewed it long enough from both sides of your mouth and it is softer, you can start cleaning your teeth as if you had your regular toothbrush.
After cleaning your teeth, don’t throw the twig away if you are planning to do Jihva Dhauti. You can use it for Jihva Dhauti, too.
After cleaning you teeth in this way, it is good to give a massage to your gums. For that you can use rock salt, eucalyptus oil or mustard oil. If you have tooth ache, clove oil is very good. Whatever you choose, put it on your fingers and gently rub it on your gums and teeth. After that rinse your mouth and clean it.
In my opinion I would recommend not to use sand or soil for this massage as other people suggest. It is however not good for the teeth. It is not a clean or hygienic option and it can harm and dull your teeth.
Benefits of Danta Dhauti
Of course Danta Dhauti will clean your teeth nicely and thus prevent and cure all those negative consequences of cavity and bacteria in your mouth.
You can prevent your teeth from aching or falling out. Halitosis can be prevented and if you already have bad breath, regular Danta Dhauti, especially with wood of Khair or Babul is a quick and good solution.
The juice of the different trees can have different benefit on your system. Most of those trees are antibacterial and are good for your gums, as the juice of Babul for example.
Additionally to all the benefits mentioned above, the chewing of the twig is also a good exercise for your jaw.
So should it ever happen that you don’t have a toothbrush you can just do it the Indian way and take a twig to clean your teeth.
Tips and Help
Take care to make the twig very soft by chewing it intensely before starting to clean so that you don’t hurt your gums.