Pearl Dental Clinic

Ramadan And Dental Care: Ask The Dentist

Ramadan is back! What a beautiful time of year to celebrate the holy month and keep beautiful healthy teeth! Fasting combined with summer heat will certainly have an impact on your oral health if you do not take the necessary steps to avoid that from happening.

Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is a wonderful exercise in self-discipline. It is also considered equally cleansing and therapeutic, physically as well as mentally. But while fasting, certain steps need to be taken to prevent it from taking a toll on your dental health. Dental experts at Pearl Dental Clinic shine light on tips to keep your teeth healthy during the month of Ramadan.

Indeed one faces hunger pangs, but the mouth bears the brunt as well. This is often manifested as dry mouth, bad breath, gum disease, increased plaque build-up, tooth decay, aggravated effects of smoking, skipped dental procedures etc.

So here’s a quick Q&A guide on maintaining oral hygiene in this blessed month.

 What food should be avoided for dental hygiene in Ramadan?

Over indulging in anything can be harmful, and we have all heard the saying “too much of a good thing is a bad thing!” Sweet food can increase the sensitivity of recently placed fillings or restorations as well as increase the chances of leakages around the filling, causing an early failure of the filling and decay forming around the filling. It is important to be realistic and not expect people to cut out sugars completely but everything in moderation. Aim to keep your meals healthy. Switch to increased fruits, vegetables, proteins and nuts as the antioxidants in these strengthen the body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, which can help protect the teeth and gums.

How Many Times Should One Brush One’s Teeth During Ramadan?

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, you help remove food and plaque – a sticky white film that forms on your teeth and contains bacteria. After you eat a meal or snack that contains sugar, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can break down tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Plaque that isn’t removed can also harden into tartar, making it harder to keep teeth clean.

How to overcome bad breath problems during fasting?

During fasting it’s common to suffer from bad breath, hence we recommend all fasting patients [at iftar and suhour] drink plenty of water, eat fruits and vegetables, and avoid spicy and salty foods which could result in dehydration.  

Additional tips for smelling fresh during Ramadan:

  • Use a tongue scraper or a cleaner during non-fasting hours to get rid of the white residue that coats the tongue. This is often the culprit for bad breath.
  • If your iftar or suhoor meal includes fish or milk, brush immediately after eating these foods. Fish and milk contain specific proteins which can lead to bad breath as they are being broken down in the mouth.
  • If you have dentures, before going to bed, use an antiseptic solution to clean them. This will help keep bad breath at bay.
  • Try to avoid sticky foods, such as chocolate, some types of cereals and cheese. Some of these foods might get stuck in between your teeth and then not be removed if you aren’t brushing carefully.

While oral health is often neglected, 30 days of fasting has a major impact on the microbes in your mouth. The absence of frequent snacking alters the salivary biochemistry leading to lowered glucose levels in the mouth. This subsequently reduces the risk of decay. During fasting, most believers also perform wudu the act of which involves rinsing your mouth with water. 

The use of miswak has also been promoted while one fasts. Miswak naturally contains silica, vitamin C, tannins, and essential oils that help reduce inflammation of gums, remove plaque and benefit oral health. To conclude, intermittent fasting done right is capable of turning you into a superhuman with a disciplined mind, healthy body, and impeccable oral health. When breaking your fast indulge with caution, consume whole foods, soups, and broths to replenish hydration levels.

Things You Shall Not Forget During Ramadan

  • Don’t skip Suhoor (pre-dawn meal )
  • Don’t overeat during Iftar (dinner).
  • Avoid sticky foods during non-fasting hours
  • Brush after Iftaar and Suhoor.
  • Clean the tongue using tongue scrapers
  • During non-fasting hours, use a mouthwash to gargle at least twice
  • Avoid Sugary Foods at Iftar
  • Avoid eating fried foods, salty foods and high-sugar foods.
  • Avoid Carbonated drinks
  • Have a Pre Ramadan dental checkup and cleaning
  • Fix all dental issues before the start of the Ramadan
  • Drink as much water as possible.
  • Keep your meals healthy and as far as possible avoid fried items.
  • Drink plenty of water (drink of choice), juices, milk and soups.
  • Cut down on coffee, tea, soda and all other caffeinated.
  • Visit the dentist for regular dental check-ups and advice, at a time when it’s suitable for you.

Using the tips here will help you maintain good oral health during Ramadan. To learn more about protecting your teeth and oral health, contact us today.