Nigeria is a multi-religious country. Ramadan, the Islamic Holy month is the ninth month of Islamic lunar calendar in which many faithful Muslims engage in a long time of fasting during daylight hours, lasts for 29 to 30 days. Ramadan poses many oral health challenges, and it’s important that people practising the fast take proper care of their teeth and gums during this time.
Dental Channel Nigeria and crew thought it helpful to explore some of these issues and help Muslim population in Nigeria understand what oral care is and is not generally allowed during fasting and how to ensure optimum care of the mouth during Ramadan fasting.
BAD BREATH DURING MUSLIM RAMADAN FASTING
The process of fasting, especially avoiding drinking anything during daylight hours, can change oral bacteria, leading to a bad breath. Although the popular hadith says, “the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better than the smell of musk in Allah’s Sight,” many people still feel uncomfortable because of their breath during fasting.
To minimise this, just brush immediately after your SAHOOR and do the same immediately IFTAR, to completely removed food particles from the mouth. Avoid these MISTAKES DURING BRUSHING.
Tongue Cleaning is also a proven hygiene practise that can help improve your breath and remove mouth odour during fasting period. Scraping your tongue gently at least twice a day prevents food particles from gathering on your tongue and generating a bad odour.
One of the major causes of mouth odour is dry mouth. During fasting, it is advisable you take lot of water during sahoor. Then after iftar, you should take a lot of water as many times as possible before you sleep. The essence of this is to remain hydrated during the period of fasting and this will go a long way in reducing mouth odour.
If you are uncomfortable with bad breath, you can try rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash. Technically, this does not break the fast as long as you do not swallow any. However, if you don’t feel comfortable with this practice during daylight hours, you will have to commit yourself to thorough hygiene after the fast breaks, including the use of antibacterial cleaning methods, such as the miswak, an effective chewing stick which can effectively clean your teeth without the need for toothpaste.
Prophet Muhammed (SAW) made use of miswak throughout Ramadan according to the holy books. Chewing stick such as Miswak has also been proven by several dental researchers to be as effective and efficient in cleaning the mouth just as toothpaste and toothbrush.
DENTAL TREATMENT DURING FASTING
As with mouth rinsing, dental care is often allowed as long as you don’t swallow anything. This means that oral sedation is not allowed, but injectable and topical anaesthesia are both allowed.
During a regular professional CLEANING AND CHECKUP, your dentist can take special care to ensure you don’t swallow materials. But if you are too uncomfortable with the risk, your dentist can usually reschedule your appointment till after fasting is over.
In cases where you’re experiencing a dental emergency such as an infected tooth, breaking the fast is allowed for care. However, people who want to avoid this situation should schedule dental check-ups shortly before the fast to avoid unexpected issues arising during Ramadan fasting