During Ramadan, Muslims worldwide fast from dawn until sunset, which can cause significant changes in their body, including their mouth and oral cavity. To maintain good oral hygiene, it’s crucial to stay hydrated, follow a healthy diet, and practice good oral hygiene during this holy month.
Here are some practical tips and recommendations to keep your teeth and mouth healthy during Ramadan written by our clinical director Dr Zaeem Jafri.
Hydration is key to maintaining a healthy mouth. Your mouth’s natural defence system is saliva, which washes your teeth and soft tissues. Abstaining from water throughout the day will cause your body to become dehydrated and reduce the rate at which your mouth produces saliva, leading to a dry mouth. A dry mouth can lead to bad breath increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer.
Drink plenty of water and other hydrating fluids from Iftar to Suhur to avoid these issues. Remember that tea, coffee, fruit juice, and other flavoured beverages will not hydrate you as water will.
Diet plays a crucial role in oral health during Ramadan. Opt for foods high in fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as these can help clean the teeth and gums naturally. Avoid sugary and sticky foods as they can stick to your teeth and cause tooth decay while also causing sharp glucose/insulin spikes that are detrimental to your health.
Avoid fruit juices and soft drinks as they are high in sugars and acids.
Good, healthy, slow energy-releasing foods include whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, vegetables, and proteins.
Avoid processed and sugary foods, white bread and other refined grains, fruit juices and sweetened beverages, fried and fatty foods, and dried fruits and snacks.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is vital during Ramadan. The reduced saliva flow and dry mouth mean that the bacteria in your mouth that causes decay and gum disease is not being washed away and can become more active. Plaque bacteria will feed off any tiny traces of food left in your mouth from Suhur, so it’s essential to thoroughly clean your teeth and mouth before beginning to fast.
Brush your teeth thoroughly after iftar with an electric brush and fluoride toothpaste. After any snack or flavoured drinks, rinse your mouth with water to wash away residual food particles and keep your mouth hydrated. Chew sugar-free chewing gum in between snacks and food. After suhur, rinse your mouth with mouthwash thoroughly before brushing your teeth for 2 minutes using an electric brush and then flossing in between.
After Ramadaan, visit a hygienist for a professional cleaning of your teeth. They will be able to remove any harmful build-up and ensure your teeth and gums are healthy following your fasting month. If you want to see us at Innovadent in the Isle of Dogs, you can book a hygiene appointment online via our website. To help, we are offering a free hygiene cleaning appointment with every check-up the week after Eid.
In conclusion, maintaining good oral health during Ramadan is crucial. Staying hydrated, following a healthy diet, and practising good oral hygiene can help prevent dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. By drinking plenty of water, choosing healthy, slow-energy-releasing foods, and regularly cleaning your teeth and mouth, you can ensure that your oral health stays in top shape throughout Ramadan.
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