The holy month of Ramadan is around the corner. It is the time of the year that Muslims fast from dawn to dusk to practice self-control. During the fasting period, they are obligated to refrain from eating or drinking until iftar time (feasting time). This practice comes with a lot of oral hygiene problems that one must look after. It becomes difficult for a fasting person to avoid bad breath and maintain good oral health which can be problematic in social interactions.
So, how can a fasting person maintain oral hygiene without having to do much? And what causes bad breaths? Let’s discuss this in this blog.
Causes of Bad Breath
- Dry mouth is one of the biggest and most natural contributing factors to bad breaths during Ramadan. When we fast and do not take fluids, our mouth dehydrates after a certain period. Since saliva helps lubricates the mouth and protects against bacteria that cause gum diseases, the lack thereof causes bad breath.
- Generally, smoking causes bad breath. Combined with fasting, the bad breath grows. It affects tissues in your mouth, stains your teeth, and causes a distinctive bad breath.
- Bad breath also depends on the type of food you consume in iftar and suhoor meals. Consuming onions, some spices, garlic, and fish may not be the best choice to avoid bad breath.
- How you look after your oral hygiene contributes to bad breaths as well. If you are too lazy to brush and floss properly, you will invite bacteria to build up, which eventually increases bad breaths.
Tips to Maintain Good Oral Health
Do you want to know how you can maintain good oral health during the holy month of Ramadan? We will tell you how.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Do yourself a favor during this month and take the first step of improving your oral hygiene: drink plenty of water. Water keeps you hydrated which helps you to avoid bad breaths. Increase your water intake more than usual during your non-fasting hours, especially during a suhoor meal. Moreover, reduce your soda and caffeine consumption.
2. Clean Dentures
Due to tooth decay, gum disease, or other dental reasons, many people need to use dentures. Regardless of fasting, dentures must be kept clean. When you fast, clean your dentures using an antiseptic solution or oral tablets and cream after a suhoor meal. Clean dentures help you avoid bad breath and tooth decay, as both are extremely important for good oral health.
3. Brush and Floss
This is the basic but the most neglected tip. Brush and floss are the most important part of oral hygiene. Do not forget to do that after iftar and suhoor during the holy month of Ramadan. Brush your teeth with toothpaste for at least two minutes in your non-fasting duration and do not forget to brush your tongue as well. So, make sure you enter the fast and end it with clean teeth that have been properly brushed and flossed. It is these basic things that make all the difference when it comes to oral hygiene.
A mouthwash is your best friend. Bad breath is the most common issue during fasting and the use of mouthwash can tremendously help you in this regard. So, get yourself an alcohol-free mouthwash, and swish it around the mouth for 30 seconds. It will give you a cool and fresh breath and also help you get rid of many dental problems.
5. Nutritious Food
If you choose to eat organic food packed with nutrients and antioxidants such as vegetables, nuts, and fruits, your body gets the ability to fight inflammation and bacteria. They help prevent gum diseases. These nutritious foods enable you to maintain good oral hygiene. However, some of these foods can naturally cause bad breath such as radish, garlic, and more. You must avoid them at all costs. If possible, you can also opt for baked or grilled foods from time to time, during your non-fasting period.
6. No Smoking
Smoking generally contributes to bad breaths. Particularly in Ramadan, refrain from smoking because it decreases saliva production and hydrates the mouth, which can ultimately cause bad breaths, especially when you are fasting.
7. Cut Down Caffeine
Caffeine has the property of dehydrating your body. This is why when you drink coffee or tea, your mouth starts to get dry after some time, causing bad breath. This is the reason you should cut down your caffeine intake in iftar and suhoor meals.
8. Salty or Spicy Food
To avoid bad breaths, you should avoid salty and spicy foods. Such foods also cause dehydration and poor oral hygiene. Moreover, your suhoor meal shouldn’t include fish, or even if wish to eat it, brush and floss thoroughly afterward. The reason? Fish contains proteins that can cause bad breath. Instead, consume fruits and vegetables that provide necessary minerals to your teeth and are important for good oral health.
Diabetic people are prone to gum disease that affects their oral hygiene. They must rinse their mouth twice a day with chlorhexidine mouthwash. They should also visit the doctor and get their oral health tested before they plan to fast in the holy month of Ramadan.
10. Tongue Cleaner
A clean tongue is also responsible for good oral health. Therefore, you must use a tongue cleaner to remove the white layer on the tongue that causes bad breath. You may also use a miswak stick or a tongue scraper after an iftar and suhoor meal to clean your tongue and teeth as they prevent dental plaque and keep your breath fresh.
The Bottom Line
Ramadan is a month of blessings and you should celebrate every bit of it without any oral hygiene concerns. Therefore, you must not ignore any dental emergency and never hesitate to speak to your dentist if needed. Wishing you good oral health during this month.