Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is the month of fasting for Muslims all across the world.
Fasting is one of the five sacred pillars of Islam, and for the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast each day from early dawn to sunset. All Muslims around the world who are physically, mentally healthy & mature, abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and all other worldly pleasures like drinking & smoking.
But due to change in eating and drinking habits, there is need of change in oral care to maintain better oral hygiene during this holy month.
Our periodontist Dr Rakesh Thaper tells us some insights on oral health and dental procedures during the month of Ramadan. Also In terms of dental treatments, which acts are permissible and which ones could nullify the fasting?
What are the benefits of Fasting?
Fasting during Ramadan has many benefits such as developing self-restraint from indulgence in worldly pleasures, developing self-discipline & self-control, gaining focus of the mind & body, and developing empathy for the poor.
Health-wise, fasting involves powerful therapeutic processes that can help people recover from mild to severe health conditions. Fasting can lower blood sugar, cholesterol and (systolic) blood pressure. In fact, Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity and essential hypertension.
What are your advice on oral hygiene for people who are fasting? Can they still brush, floss and use mouthwash as usual?
Toothpastes are allowed during the holy month of Ramadan, although some scholars of Islam consider the use of toothpaste to be highly undesirable because deliberate or accidental swallowing of them will nullify the fast.
While one can brush & floss thoroughly before sleeping at night and brushing is recommended after Suhoor (pre-dawn meal). Brushing twice daily is sufficient for maintaining oral hygiene.
Non- Alcoholic mouthwash are commonly prescribed to the patients by dentists as an adjunct to oral hygiene. Some patients are reluctant to use mouthwash for the fear of unintentionally swallowing some. If this is the case, you can use it outside the regular fasting hours.
Will administration of an aesthetic injections or dental procedures nullify the fast?
Many fasting patients think that dental procedures will nullify their fast, but local anesthetics are permissible forms of treatments for patients who are observing fast during holy month of Ramadan. However, if patients are reluctant, it is best to delay or re-schedule the treatment especially if there is no acute discomfort currently to the patient.
Which dental procedures should be postponed by fasting patients if the treatment dates are during 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 due to difference in 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.
Any advice for patients who have to take medications and also want to fast?
Oral medications are not permissible during Ramadan & Invalidate the fast. If you fall ill and avoiding medication could result to harm and is life-threatening, it’s allowable to break the fast.
When a dental problem occur during the holy month of Ramadan and medications are needed, you can discuss with your dentist. He or she may be able to adapt your medications and/or the dosage.
Any health tips for people who fast during Ramadan?
Fasting people should not skip the Suhoor. Also don't overeat during Iftar (dinner) time. People should avoid eating fried, salty & high-sugar foods. Drinking lot of water, juices or also helps the body to cleanse as well as be hydrated.
Keep your meals balanced & healthy. Whenever possible, opt for steamed, grilled or baked foods. For cooking in oil, settle for healthier options like canola oil.
Cut down on tea, coffee,soda & any other caffeinated drinks – they have diuretic effects and thus dehydrate your body.
Note: The opinions are completely personal. Anyone following any of the given advises should first confirm them with their religious sources.
Dr Rakesh Thaper is a renowned Periodontist & Dental Implant specialist in India.
visit "www.jaipurdentists.com" for more information on Dental Implant in India