Five Tips for Maintaining Dental Health During Ramadan
Worried about oral hygiene during Ramadan? Vilafortuny has five tips perfect for dental upkeep during the month of fasting
Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is an exercise in self-discipline and self-control. It is also considered cleansing and highly therapeutic for both, the body as well as the mind. But while the benefits of fasting are many, certain steps need to be taken to prevent it from taking a toll on he faster’s dental health.
Dr. Kathrin Trelles, a Dubai-based implantologist, cosmetic laser dentist and founder of local state-of-the-art dentistry, plastic and aesthetic laser surgery clinic Vilafortuny, provides some insight and quick tips on oral hygiene during Ramadan.
Tip 1: Brush after suhoor and iftaar meals
During the month of Ramadan there are two key meals in the day: suhoor (or the pre-dawn meal) and iftaar (the meal with which Muslims break their day-long fast). These tend to be big meals and often feature a heavy dose of sugary foods. A good practice to add to your dental regime during Ramadan is to brush right after these meals to prevent bacterial build-up. This is particularly important for kids, who tend to eat a lot more sweets than adults.
Tip 2: Don’t forget to floss and use mouthwash
Dental floss serves to clean up the remnants of food stuck between the teeth, while mouthwash washes away the bacteria. If flossing and the use of mouthwash are not already a part of your daily dental regime, make sure to incorporate them in during the month of Ramadan. This will prevent the richer foods you consume from adversely affecting your teeth.
Tip 3: Multiply the consumption of water during non-fasting hours
Hydration is extremely important for oral hygiene and, in turn, dental well being. In fact, a lack of water consumption is associated with bacterial build up and, subsequently, bad breath. To avoid this, simply scale up the amount of water you consume during the non-fasting hours. During iftaar drink approximately two to three glasses of water to freshen the mouth. Additionally, cut down on coffee, tea, soda and all other caffeinated drinks – they have diuretic effects and thus dehydrate the body further.
Tip 4: Increase your fruit and vegetable intake
Ongoing research indicates that antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts strengthen the body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, which can help protect the teeth and gums. Instead of consuming sugary, carbohydrate-rich or acidic foods during meals, eat the above foods to minimise the amount of time teeth are exposed to acid. Keep your meals healthy. Whenever possible, opt for steaming, grilling or baking. If you use oil for cooking, settle for healthy options like canola oil.
Tip 5: Avoid sticky foods
Any food that contains sugar or starch can cause tooth decay by dissolving the protective enamel on the teeth. But, much more important, is how long a particular food stays on your teeth. For example, some of the most damaging foods are those that mash into the tops of the molars at the back of the mouth and don't dissolve quickly. Ideally, avoid sticky foods as much as possible during Ramadan.
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