Dr. Khalid Al Ameri

Oral hygiene is particularly important during Ramadan as fasting can cause bacteria to build up, says the Head of the Dental Clinic at Healthpoint.

Dr. Khalid Alameri, Consultant Orthodontist and Head of the Dental Clinic at Healthpoint, explains that fasting and therefore abstaining from liquids can lead to the development of oral bacteria, a prime culprit in bad breath, cavities and gum disease.

Dr Khalid says: “People need to adapt their oral hygiene routine during Ramadan, being sure to brush their teeth after both iftar and suhoor to prevent bacteria from forming. Most mouth odor originates from the tongue, so using a tongue scraper twice a day will also help.”

Combatting dehydration is particularly important in avoiding bad breath, Dr Khalid points out. In addition to drinking plenty of liquids and avoiding salt, caffeine and diuretics during non-fasting hours, there are measures to prevent a dry mouth.

“If care is taken not to swallow any liquid, then the use of mouthwash or rinsing with water will not break the fast. However, some people are uncomfortable with this, so they can use miswak sticks, a natural tooth-cleaning twig, to stimulate salivary flow.”

Dr Khalid’s top-four tips for fresh breath while fasting:

  • Brush and floss after iftar and suhoor
  • During the fasting hours, use a tongue scraper, miswak sticks and rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash
  • Use an oral pro-biotic to replenish healthy bacteria that may be lost through using too much mouthwash
  • When breaking your fast, avoid onions, garlic, smoking and other common causes of bad breath.