During the Holy Month of Ramadan, millions of Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset. Most people know that fasting during Ramadan means one cannot eat, drink, chew gum or smoke during the day.
But did you know that brushing your teeth during the day can also be considered as invalidating your fast? Swallowing something or allowing anything to enter your stomach breaks the fast. This can include toothpaste and the water you use to brush your teeth.
Brushing Your Teeth During Ramadan
It is essential to continue brushing your teeth during Ramadan. Most people continue brushing their teeth normally (with toothpaste) after iftar and suhoor (but before the sun rises).
If you want or need to brush your teeth during the day, but do not want to risk breaking your fast, you have 2 options.
Miswak or Siwak (aka “chewing stick”) is a traditional brushing stick used largely in India, Pakistan and many Arab countries. Brushing your teeth with miswak is similar to a regular toothbrush. The fiber on the end of the twig is exposed by chewing it. Then you use the miswak to brush the surface of the tooth by brushing away from your gumline.
The chewing stick contains natural elements that help to remove stains, bacteria and plaque. By depositing Vitamin C, Calcium, Fluoride and essential oils, miswak also helps keep teeth healthy and strong.
2. Brush without toothpaste
You can do a “dry brush” using only your toothbrush to loosen the plaque on your teeth. Then wipe away the plaque with a dry towel or tissue.
There doesn’t seem to be a worldwide consensus about whether brushing with toothpaste during the day breaks the fast. Some believe if you do not swallow the toothpaste and also rinse the flavor out of your mouth completely, then it is permissible. Others believe that it is absolutely not allowed and a chewing stick should be used instead.
Consult a trusted imam or Muslim scholar to help guide you in your decision.
- Meswak cleared for use in Ramadan (Emirates 24/7)
- Miswak: A periodontist’s perspective (Originally published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine)
- Antioxidant capacity of chewing stick miswak Salvadora Persica (Retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine)
- Miswak – The Wonder Twig (Gulf News)
NOTE: Information for this blog was provided by the dentist/dental clinic or retrieved from the public domain. This is not an advertisement. Inclusion in this blog is not an endorsement by The Dental Card and is provided for informational purposes only.