Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. Throughout the Holy month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast every day from early dawn to sunset, abstaining from eating, drinking, and smoking. How to get the best oral hygiene during this month?
When it comes to the prevention of dental problems and bad breath, what should we be aware of during Ramadan?
Toothpastes are allowed during Ramadan, although some scholars of Islam consider the use of toothpaste to be highly undesirable because accidental swallowing may nullify the fast.
Always brush and floss your teeth thoroughly before sleeping at night and I also recommend brushing after Suhoor (pre-dawn meal). Brushing twice daily is sufficient for oral disease prevention.
Mouthwashes are commonly prescribed by dentists as an adjunct to oral hygiene. Some patients may be reluctant to use mouth wash for fear of unintentionally swallowing some. If this is the case, you can use it outside fasting hours.
Will dental treatment and administrator of local anesthesia nullify your fast?
Some patients think that actions that take place during dental procedures may nullify their fast but local anesthetics (injections) are permissible forms of treatments for those who are observing Ramadan. However, if you feel reluctant, it is best to re-schedule or delay treatments, especially if there is no urgency or acute discomfort.
Are there dental procedures that should be postponed by fasting patients if the treatment dates fall on Ramadan?
Dental treatments and preventative procedure (including restorations, scaling and extractions) do not invalidate the fast, but some patients are unwilling to have procedures done depending on their views.
Patients who require immediate or advanced treatment, like those who suffer from deteriorating chronic illness or those who face dental emergencies, could break the fast. If it is possible, the dentist can delay or re-schedule treatments for their patients.
Most dental clinics in Doha operate long working hours after Iftar, which appeals to patients observing Ramadan. If your treatment is urgent, dentists are still able to carry this out without affecting your religious duties.
How do medications affect fasting during Ramadan?
Oral medications are not permissible and invalidate the fast. However, if you fall ill and avoiding medication could result in harm, you are allowed to break your fast.
When a dental problem occurs during the holy month of Ramadan and medications are needed, you can discuss that with your dentist. He/she may be able to adapt your medications and/or the dosage.
Prevention is always better than cure. By focusing on healthy oral hygiene measures, as explained earlier, you will reduce the likelihood of having to undergo dental treatment during Ramadan, and keep your mouth clean and fresh.