The top ten dental gifts for Christmas 2023
1st December 2023
If you're shopping for either presents or stocking fillers, here's a list of our top ten dental gifts. Do you… read more
Your teeth may not be top of the list of things you’ll think about during the holy month of Ramadan. But it’s a good idea to keep them in mind. You’ll want to keep up your dental routines, so that fasting doesn’t have an negative impact on your oral health. As opinions and personal preferences vary about what is best practice for maintaining dental health during Ramadan, please consider these pointers as helpful suggestions only.
If you haven’t been to the dentist in the last five months, make an appointment for a dental check before you begin fasting. Your dentist can point out any problems that need immediate attention so that you’re comfortable while you’re fasting.
Many people fasting plan a routine for when they are going to eat and sleep. It’s worth making sure that you reschedule your usual tooth-brushing and oral hygiene routines so that you can floss and brush for two minutes before sleeping, and at one other time during the hours of darkness. Ideally you should wait for half an hour after eating before brushing your teeth so that the enamel can remineralise and harden up again. However, if dawn is breaking you may not be able to wait. It’s worth remembering that fluoride helps protect tooth enamel, so toothpaste and mouthwash (remember to spit, rather than rinse) used any time during non-fasting hours, is helpful.
It’s also a good idea to consider which dental procedures you would permit during Ramadan, in case of a dental emergency. If, for example, you have a bad toothache during the day, an abscess, or a filling falls out, then what can you do to feel better?
Read more: Dentist Aryaan Khalid shares his expert knowledge about changes that may occur in the mouth during periods of fasting. He also offers useful tips on diet and oral hygiene.
Many sources agree, although it’s an uncertain area, that so long as you don’t swallow liquid, during the hours of fast you can rinse your mouth. Be sure to spit well. Saliva in the mouth is important for fighting bacteria. A dry mouth increases the chance of tooth decay.
During the hours of non-fasting, be sure to drink plenty of water to rehydrate. Avoid salty foods and caffeinated drinks, which are dehydrating. Plan well-balanced meals at iftar and suhoor that include protein, fruit and vegetables to maintain good general health, avoiding products that are high in fat and refined sugar.
Bad breath is usually caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. Using mouth wash to rinse, and even rinsing with plain water, helps to conquer bad breath. However, the use of products such as toothpaste or mouthwash, even if you spit them out carefully and don’t swallow any, is a controversial area. While some people rinse their mouth from time to time during the day, others prefer not to, which means that bacteria-fighting saliva is reduced.
Significant alterations to your regular daily routines shouldn’t mean skipping essential dental care. As you plan your sleep and meal patterns, be sure to include enough time for tooth-brushing too. While it’s dark, make the most of being able to really get your mouth freshened up. This month may be a good time to experiment with tongue scraping too.
During the day, you may find yourself clenching your teeth and exerting additional pressure on your jaw. It may even cause some pain. Some people find that conscious deep breathing can help. If you have a night guard because you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep, then slip it in during the day. The purpose of a night guard is to stop your jaw closing into a locked position. Alternatively, if you have a sports gum shield, try that instead. It may offer you some relief from an aching jaw.
Before plastics and toothpaste, there was miswak. It’s been used as a tooth cleaning aid for thousands of years. Miswak is a slim root harvested from the arak tree (Salvadora Persica) reputed to have anti-bacterial properties. You may decide that this is a helpful aid for fresher breath during fasting hours, as it is more in keeping with the spirit of fasting than using modern products.
To prepare the miswak for use, begin by giving it a wash, and then peel of about two centimetres of the bark-like outer skin. If you soak the twig in water, it will be softer and easier to use, but many people just chew their miswak until the fibres separate so it functions as a brush to clean the teeth as well as freshening up breath.
Please don’t give up on your electric toothbrush and fluoride though!
While it’s better to schedule regular dental appointments outside of Ramadan, emergency treatment is just that. It cannot be avoided.
Please contact us if you have any questions, or need to make an emergency appointment.
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