Ramadan 2022 in UAE: Doctors share tips on oral hygiene while fasting

Dr Shetty advises those fasting to brush their teeth for 2-3 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste after Iftar and Suhoor to reduce plaque build-up


By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Fri 8 Apr 2022, 4:46 PM

Last updated: Fri 8 Apr 2022, 10:42 PM

Bad breath is a common issue during Ramadan and regular brushing could be one way to keep the foul foe at bay.

UAE doctors say bad breath is a direct result of fasting as saliva flow is reduced due to limited food and fluid intake. “Saliva plays an important role in preventing bacterial growth,” said Dr Pradeep Chandra Shetty, head of dental department, specialist orthodontist, NMC Speciality Hospital, Al Ain.

“Protein-rich diet leads to breakdown of proteins into amino acids and causes bad breath. The breakdown also causes a thin white coating on the tongue leading to bacterial growth,” added Dr Shetty.

He said one must pay attention to oral hygiene during the holy month. “Oral hygiene practices are compromised due to infrequent brushing leading to the accumulation of plaque in turn leading to halitosis,” said Dr Shetty.

Dr Zaman Al Janabi, GP dentist, Canadian Specialists Hospital, Dubai said tooth decay could also be a cause of bad breath and hence it is very important to have a general check-up.

“Bad breath is an embarrassing, annoying and common problem. If you have bad breath sometimes, the source and reasons must be identified. If it is caused by tooth decay or gum infection, it should be treated by the dentist,” advised Dr Al Janabi.

Dr Shetty advises those fasting to brush their teeth for 2-3 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste after Iftar and Suhoor to reduce plaque build-up. “Oral hygiene aids like floss, mouthwash and tongue scraper are preferable to reduce plaque accumulation,” he said.

Foods to avoid while fasting

  • Avoid foods such as onion, garlic, and spices
  • Avoid fluids with diuretic effects and foods with high salt and sugar content to avoid dehydration
  • Drink plenty of water

Courtesy: Dr Shetty

Tips to maintain oral hygiene

  • Brush teeth frequently
  • Use medical thread
  • Use mouthwash
  • Gently clean tongue to get rid of bacteria
  • Clean removable orthodontic devices well before putting it back into the mouth. Same goes if you have movable artificial teeth such as dentures
  • Drink plenty of water as it prevent bacteria build up in the mouth

Courtesy: Dr Al Janabi

Some steps to prevent bad breath

  • Brush teeth after eating
  • Clean gaps between teeth twice a day with medical floss
  • Clean tongue with special tools to get rid of plaque
  • Clean gums regularly
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Use good quality toothbrush and replace it from time to time
  • Undergo periodic examinations by a dentist to detect any problem and to seek advice on modern methods to get rid of bad breath

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