The sun had just risen to herald in a bright, new day in D'Land but Din Din was distressed. He had woken up in the middle of the night and felt a searing pain in his jaw. He had spent the entire night tossing and turning. He cried out for his mother but his parents had gone away with friends over the weekend. "My parents have gone away and I am supposed to take care of my brothers while they are gone," thought Din Din.
"But how will I do so when I am in such agony?"
His three younger brothers were also anxious but did not know how to help Din Din. When evening came Din Din set off for the lakeside to meet his two best friends, hoping they would have suggestions to relieve his pain.
Din Din hopped up and down on his huge, green feet as he waited for Delma and Dazel to arrive by the edge of the lake where the three best friends met every evening. Din Din suddenly heard a splash in the water and saw Delma the dolphin swim gracefully up to where he was standing on the lake's bank.
"Hello, Din Din," greeted Delma cheerily. "What happened, dear friend? You don't look well."
"Yes Delma. I'm in so much pain. My tooth aches terribly," said Din Din mournfully.
"Oh dear! That's terrible!" exclaimed Delma.
"Since yesterday night my tooth has been aching and I haven't been able to sleep or eat. What should I do?" cried Din Din in anguish.
"Whom can we ask?" Delma wondered aloud. Just then Dazel flew upto them.
"Hello friends! What's up?" chirped Dazel. Delma quickly told Dazel about Din Din's problem.
"Oh my! I'm afraid I have no idea what to do as we birds don't have teeth so I've never faced this problem before. Ducks have rows of thin bristles in their mouths which we use to filter nutrient particles out of the water," explained Dazel.
Just then the three friends spotted Burrow the rabbit scamper past them towards his gardens. "Let's ask Burrow. Maybe he has some herbal remedy for curing toothaches."
Dazel called out to Burrow, "Hello Burrow sir! Can you give us a minute, please?"
The furry, white rabbit, who was an expert gardener, stopped and looked at them in surprise. "Oh! Hello dears. How may I help you?"
Din Din explained, "Burrow sir, I have a ghastly toothache. Can you suggest something to help ease my pain?'
"Oh yes. I'm surprised you don't know about the miswak stick Din Din. I thought you would know as you are a gardener yourself and so interested in plant life. Miswak is a teeth cleaning stick made from a twig of the Salvadora persica tree," said Burrow. "The tree grows at the edge of my garden. Come with me and I'll give you the twigs."
"Oh! Thank you so much, Burrow sir," cried Din Din gratefully. Bidding goodbye to Delma, Din Din set off with Burrow the rabbit. Dazel also insisted that she would accompany her dinosaur friend.
When they reached Burrow's gardens, the rabbit asked them to wait.
"I use the miswak stick regularly. We rabbits are very particular about our teeth. I'll fetch them for you." The rabbit hopped off and returned soon carrying twigs in his hand. "Brushing your teeth with this twig will not only relieve your toothache but will strengthen gums, prevent tooth decay, improve sensitivity of taste-buds and give you fragrant breath," explained Burrow.
The rabbit hesitated and asked Din Din, "I'm sorry dear but don't you use anything to take care of your teeth? I'm asking you this because I hope you realize how important healthy teeth are. Strong, healthy teeth are needed to chew the right foods to help you grow. They help you speak clearly. And ofcourse, they help you look good."
"My mother always tells me to use ground up chalk to clean my teeth like other dinosaurs but I admit I don't do so regularly," replied Din Din with a drooped head.
Burrow shook his head, "Try this miswak twig and you will feel the difference. Also remember, it is important to brush your teeth atleast twice a day—first when you get up and also before going to bed. I am so particular that I make my young rabbits brush their teeth after every meal."
When Burrow saw that Din Din and Dazel were listening carefully, the rabbit continued, "When you don't brush you get plaque which is a layer of bacteria which sticks to your teeth. After you eat anything the bacteria attack the sugar on your teeth. The bacteria break the sugar into acids which eat the enamel on your teeth and makes holes in it. This vicious bacteria can also make your gums red, swollen, and sore. Your gums are those soft pink tissues in your mouth that hold your teeth in place."
"I wish I had listened to my mom," cried Din Din as he took the miswaq sticks from Burrow. "I promise to use them regularly."
A few days later Din Din returned to Burrow. This time the dinosaur was smiling and content. "You were right, Burrow sir. My toothache is gone and my breath smells great. I feel like smiling more. My mom is so pleased that my entire family now uses miswak. Infact I'm planting the Salvadora persica tree in my garden so all my dinosaur friends can benefit from the miswak twig."
"That's wonderful Din Din! Nature is full of examples of natural remedies and the miswak is just one of them," said Burrow.
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