Maintaining oral health in Ramadan

Muslims across the globe are all set to welcome the Holy month of Ramadan. We must cleanse our mouth just as much as our soul.

by Dr Syeda Rehma Hasan

Oral health should not be overlooked while we are busy fasting. Those who are not comfortable brushing during the fasting hours may look into rescheduling their routine.

What to expect while fasting in Ramadan

Ramadan and Oral Health

A few changes may occur in the body, including the oral cavity. The most common one being a dry mouth as a result of reduced water intake. Negligence of oral hygiene can lead to bad breath as well. ‘Cleanliness is half of the faith’ according to our Prophet (PBUH), generating a solid incentive to be mindful of our dental care routine whilst fasting. 

Dawn to dusk

The length of the fast may vary in different regions but brushing twice a day remains consistent. Some Muslim scholars believe that the use of toothpaste and mouthwash can invalidate our fast. In this case, we can pick a time that does not fall within these hours. It is advisable to brush and floss after Suhur (pre-dawn meal) and before bedtime. Besides, Miswak can be used to refresh our breath while fasting. It is a traditional way of keeping the mouth clean but should not replace the toothbrush or a daily fluoride dose.

Moreover, we must incorporate at least 6-8 glasses of water into our routine. It is a good idea to set reminders for the non-fasting period to keep us hydrated. 

Around the table

Ramadan is a month of festivities featuring mouthwatering meals. However, following a balanced diet is essential at any time of the year, including the blessed month. An important takeaway is the ability to curb one’s desires in every sphere of life. This should be seen as an opportunity to give up on the temptation to consume an unhealthy diet. As hard as it may seem, this promotes a healthy lifestyle and keeps our oral hygiene checked.  

Dental appointments

Try scheduling an appointment with the dentist before Ramadan. This makes us aware of any oral problems that need to be addressed, enabling us to enjoy stress-free fasting. Dental procedures do not negate the fast, but many people are not comfortable going ahead with it. Treatment could be delayed unless it is necessary. However, an emergency should be looked into immediately. 

People can have different opinions, but we can only fulfil this obligatory pillar if we keep healthy. Therefore, dedicating some time to maintaining our wellbeing is crucial. 

A very happy and healthy Ramadan to all those celebrating!

– The author is a contributing writer and Canadian correspondent at Dental News Pakistan and can be reached at

April 17, 2021

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