Although it is a great and beneficial sunnah, it's one that has been fairly neglected in parts of the world and we who have been raised in the West are fairly unfamiliar with it. It's one thing to want to practice the sunnah, even knowing the benefits and reward of it, but another knowing how.
It took me a little bit of time to get used to the taste and get the hang of chewing the dry, hard stick to make the end soft and broken down like a brush and then to scrub my teeth and gubs with it.
Recently a sister asked an excellent question on the original post. She wanted to know how I store it after I have used it. A good question, because no one tells you how and you have to work it out as you go.
My husband buys the peelu wood miswak (same as the one before) and stores it back in the pack.
I use the olive wood type which come in small bundles without any pack. I use it before I go to the bathroom and then leave it open by my mirror which has a shelf (nearest thing I have to a dressing table). Thi suits me because I use it before every salah and at other times through the day when it occurs to me. This won't suit everyone though because some people not think it is hygienic (I've had the baby chew on mine, so hygiene just goes out the window anyway).
Keeping it ope lets it dry out a little and this may also help protect against a problem that Sister C mentioned in the comments of the original post - about her miswak getting mould. I've never had this happen, but it could happen to someone else.
I've also come across miswak's which you can buy with pen like holders:
These should now be available in most Islamic shops and online Islamic retailers.
One other idea that I liked that my husband suggested, was to store the miswak in a travel toothbrush holder like the one below which is available from most chemists and supermarkets.
I think the best thing to do is to try a few ways and see which suits you best insh'Allah.
Ibn Umar (RA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
'Make a regular practice of the Miswaak, for verily, it is healthy for the mouth and it is a Pleasure for the Creator (i.e. Allah is pleased with the Muslim who uses the Miswaak)'." (Bukhari)
"Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: 'Was it not for my fear of imposing a difficulty on my Ummah I would have ordered that the Miswaak be used for every Salaat'." (Bukhari)
Hadhrat Ibn Umar (RA) says that many a time Rasulullah used the Miswaak as much as four times in a single night. Hadhrat Aishah (RA) narrates: "Verily, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would use the Miswaak before making Wudhu (ablutions) whenever he arose from sleep, whether it be during the night or during the day." (Abu Dawood).
"Shuraih (RA) narrates that he asked Aisha (RA): 'What was the first thing Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) did upon entering the house?' Aisha (RA) replied: 'Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would use the Miswaak'." (Muslim)
If you are curious and want to find out more about the benefits of using miswak, how to use it and when, perhaps these reasons I have come across might encourage you to do some research:
1. Eliminates bad odour and improves the sense of taste
2. Sharpens the memory
3. Sharpens the intelligence
4. Eliminates slime (phlegm/mucus)
5. A cure for illness
6. Miswaak creates fragrance in the mouth.
7. Miswaak strengthens the gums.
8. Miswaak prevents tooth decay.
9. Miswaak prevents further increase of decay which has already set in the teeth.
10. Miswaak is a cure for headaches.
11. Miswaak assists in eliminating toothaches.
12. Miswaak creates lustre (Noor) on the face of the one who continually uses it.
13. Miswaak causes the teeth to glow.
14. Miswaak removes the yellowishness of the teeth.
15. Miswaak strengthens the eye-sight.
16. Miswaak is beneficial for the health of the entire body.
17. Miswaak assists in the process of Digestion.
18. Miswaak is a cure for a certain mouth disease known as Qilaa (This is stated in Hujjatul Baaleghah).
19. Miswaak clears the voice. This is stated in Tibbe-Nabawi.
20. Miswaak facilitates the appetite (Tibbe Nabawi).
21. Miswaak increases the eloquence of one's speech.
22. Miswaak (i.e. its constant use) will be a factor to ease the pangs of Death. The continuous use of the Miswaak makes it easy for the Rooh (Soul) to depart from the body when its appointed time arrives.
23. Miswaak increases the Thawaab (reward) of Salaat (prayer) from seventy times to four hundred times.
24. Miswaak is a factor which will earn higher ranks in Jannat for the one who uses it
25. The Angels sing the praises of the one who uses the Miswaak.
26. Use of the Miswaak displeases Shaitaan.
27. Use of the Miswaak graces one with the companionship of the Angels.
28. And, the greatest benefit of using the Miswaak is the attainment of Allah Ta'ala's Pleasure.