Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection, and community.
During Ramadan, the hours of fasting differ from about 12-20 hours, depending on your geographic location all around the world. In this month, it is crucial to maintain your dental health in a good condition apart from your routine days.
Tackling Halitosis in Ramadan
Halitosis is commonly known as bad breath in people due to a decrease in salivation and a considerable increase in the concentration of volatile sulphur compounds in your mouth.
BaIling dehydration is vital to avoid bad breath. Consumption plenty of fluids and avoiding salt, caffeine, and diuretics during non-fasting hours helps prevent dry mouth. You should make sure to brush and floss your teeth before sleeping at night and aLer suhoor/predawn meal to ensure a bacteria-free mouth.
Tongue cleaning should be practiced daily. In addition to this, mouthwash can also be used to prevent bad breath in non-fasting hours to prevent bad breath.
However, alcohol-based mouth rinses should be avoided as they could also cause dry mouth.
An increase in your intake of fluids and fruits helps your body stay hydrated.
Oral Hygiene During Ramadan
DO’S IN RAMADAN
• Brushing your teeth before sleeping at night and aLer suhoor/ sehri” i.e predawn meal should be a daily practice as it helps to clean your mouth by brushing away food particles stuck in the mouth to prevent tooth decay.
• Tongue cleaning ensures your mouth is bacteria-free and reduces bad breath.
• Introducing fruits and boiled vegetables at the time of breaking fast which have a high fiber content helps remineralization of your teeth naturally. Bad odor and dryness can accelerate the tooth decay process when you have sugary foods at the time of breaking fast. So, to reverse the decay process, you must have fiber-rich food which will deposit minerals in your teeth to stay healthy.
• Using “Miswak” teeth cleaning twig from the twig of Salvadora persica tree during the fasting hours helps to stimulate saliva that prevents dryness of mouth and bad breath.
• Periodontally compromised and diabetic patients must use chlorhexidine 0.12% mouthwash twice daily in 1:1 rato to prevent further damage of gums as gum infections may give rise to bad breath. Regular scaling and polishing(teeth cleaning) before Ramadan is a must to make sure gum health doesn’t worsen and to avoid bad breath during the month.
• Incorporate usage of fluoridated toothpaste (1350ppm) twice daily, because fluoride gives strength to teeth and prevents demineralization of teeth or cavity formation.
• People who use dentures should clean them with denture cleaning tablets dissolved in water and then wear them during fasting hours as unclean dentures produce bad breath.
• Elderly patients should use a powered toothbrush to clean teeth effectively to avoid teeth decay and bad breath.
DON’T’S IN RAMADAN
• Smokers are advised to avoid smoking during non-fasting hours as smoking results in poor dental hygiene and acid build-up that triggers bad breath, which is further aggravated by the constant wearing of masks during the day.
• Avoid refined carbohydrates, caffeine, and carbonated drinks which cause dry mouth and thereby halitosis or bad odor from the mouth.
• Avoid salty and fried foods which increase sodium levels and lead to dehydration.
Please visit your dentist in case of any dental emergency such as toothache, swelling or discomfort in your mouth.
We wish you the best dental health during Ramadan. Keep fasting, Keep Smiling!