Ramadan Oral Hygiene: (Aligner Care During Fasting)

Written by Dr. Febin Mary George, BDS | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Shaista Salam, BDS, Dr. Zein El Hammouz, DDS, MFD/RCSI

Fact Checked →

Table of Contents

1. What is the relationship between Ramadan and oral health?

2. How can I take care of my teeth during Ramadan? Maintain good oral hygiene.

3. Diet suggestions for your fasting

4. Tips for patients wearing aligners during Ramadan

Ramadan, the holy month of spiritual reflection and fasting, is a time of deep contemplation for Muslims spanning the globe. In this period, one strives to redirect focus towards the divine and remind oneself of the blessings bestowed by Allah.

As an aligner wearer, it is natural to have doubts regarding aligner use during the period of fasting, such as ‘Can I wear aligners while fasting?’. Well, there is nothing wrong with you wearing your aligners even while you fast, as nothing from the aligners enters your stomach.

This article is meant to address all your concerns, similar to the one mentioned above, regarding Ramadan and oral health.

What is the relationship between Ramadan and oral health?

Fasting during Ramadan has numerous spiritual benefits. But in the absence of good oral hygiene, it can also impact your oral health. Fasting can lead to a decrease in saliva production, which may make your mouth feel dry. (1) Another side effect of inadequate oral hygiene practices during Ramadan is bad breath. The decreased salivary flow rate during fasting may contribute to this bad mouth odor (1) We know saliva helps keep our mouths clean by washing away food particles. It neutralizes the acid produced by dental plaque and keeps a check on bacteria responsible for tooth decay and bad breath. Thus, a change in the saliva flow may create a suitable environment for bacteria to coat the teeth and tongue, contributing to malodor.

The image illustrates how during ramadan your mouth can produce bad odor due to fasting

How can I take care of my teeth during Ramadan? Maintain good oral hygiene.

1. Brush and floss your teeth

It is vital to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily during Ramadan. To check plaque build-up, brush your teeth using fluoridated toothpaste twice daily for at least 2 minutes, preferably after meals, in the morning and before bed. Brushing ensures that your teeth are clean from remaining food debris that can lead to bad breath.

Floss and interdental brushes take care of the interdental areas (areas between two teeth) by driving out the food particles stuck within them and preventing the plaque layer from building up there.

2. Keep your tongue clean

Your tongue has a rough surface where tiny food particles can easily get stuck and cause bad breath. That is why you should clean your tongue with a tongue scraper to maintain a healthy and fresh breath.

3. Use a traditional alternative to oral hygiene aid: Miswak

The use of Miswak, the natural toothbrush made out of twigs from the arak tree (Salvadora Persica), to clean teeth has been an age-old practice. Using miswak is considered a Sunnah in Islam, and it can be used as a substitute for toothbrushing during the day while fasting. Miswak is believed to have antimicrobial properties and can help prevent bad breath and gum disease. (2)

4. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Make the best use of the non-fasting hours in staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Not only is it going to help you compensate for the dehydration that you experience during your fast. Set your goal to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water between iftar and suhoor.

5. Visit your dentist routinely

To ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and strong, see your dentist regularly. Getting a routine dental checkup before and after Ramadan is a great way to keep track of your Ramadan and oral health.

The infographic illustrate 10 tips for patients who wear clear aligners during Ramadan

Navigating Nutrition for Oral and Orthodontic Health

The food choices you make during Ramadan can significantly impact your oral and overall health, especially when wearing aligners. Ramadan and oral health is directly related to your diet, so let’s look at some ways to ensure your diet is healthy during Ramadan.

1. Avoid salty foods

Salty foods such as pickles have a tendency to further dehydrate you and make you feel more thirsty owing to the sodium content inside them. It is recommended to limit or avoid the consumption of salty foods.

2. Stay away from some foods

Foods that contain onions or garlic tend to leave an unpleasant breath for a long time. Hence, it is recommended to avoid food preparations with them as their main ingredient. Instead, you can always consume food high in water, like cucumbers, watermelons, or celery, which help flush out food particles from the mouth.

3. Reduce intake of sugary drinks

Sugary drinks can put you at a high risk of dental decay and bad breath. Hence, it is advised to avoid or limit the intake of sugary beverages.  

4. Say no to caffeinated drinks

Caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee have a diuretic effect, which means you lose more water through urination. Therefore, avoiding caffeinated drinks can prevent dehydration during Ramadan.

5. Avoid spicy foods

It is highly recommended to consume spicy food as it may irritate the stomach lining, which grows more sensitive during periods of fasting. You may use mild spices like fennel and cardamom instead in your preparations.

6. Avoid or even quit smoking

As Ramadan is a month of spiritual rejuvenation and detachment from one’s vices, you can use this time to avoid smoking and finally quit the habit. That way, you ensure a longer life for your teeth, gums, and overall health!

Iftar Suggestions

Break your fast with dates and water, following the Sunnah which can quickly replenish your energy levels. Opt for a balanced meal containing lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains. These not only support physical health but also contribute to a healthy oral environment, reducing the risk of dental issues.

Avoid sticky and sugary foods that can increase the risk of decay. Similarly, highly acidic foods and beverages can erode tooth enamel, so moderation is key.

Suhour Recommendations

For Suhour, focus on hydrating and high-fiber foods that release energy slowly, keeping you fuller and hydrated longer. Foods like oatmeal, whole-grain bread, fruits, and vegetables are excellent choices. Include proteins such as eggs or yogurt to aid in muscle repair and growth overnight. Avoid sugary and caffeinated beverages as they can lead to dehydration and are not conducive to oral health.

Tips for patients wearing aligners during Ramadan

You can wear your aligners every day for 22 hours, even while you fast during Ramadan. Here are a few things that you should consider while wearing aligners and fasting:

Take an appointment with your dentist

Schedule a routine dental checkup with your dentist before Ramadan. If there are any dental issues, you can get them addressed beforehand.

Keep your aligners clean

Remove your aligners before Iftar and Suhur and clean them with a soft toothbrush under running water. Read more on how to take care of your aligners here.


The image shows how to wash clear aligners during Ramadan

Enhancing Your Ramadan Experience

Embrace this holy month as an opportunity to reflect on your health, both spiritual and physical. The discipline required for aligner treatment can complement the self-discipline and reflection inherent to Ramadan, offering a unique perspective on personal growth and care.

Hydration Is Key

Hydration is vital for oral health, particularly during Ramadan. Aim to drink plenty of water between Iftar and Suhour to maintain saliva flow and help cleanse the mouth. This practice is crucial for aligner wearers, as it prevents dry mouth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Spiritual and Mental Well-being

Ramadan offers a chance to nurture not just your body but also your soul. Take time to meditate, pray, and engage in activities that enrich your spiritual life. This holistic approach to well-being can positively impact your orthodontic treatment, reducing stress and its negative effects on oral health.


You can continue wearing aligners during fasting if you follow special precautions and care instructions. Remember to stay hydrated, maintain good oral hygiene, and avoid sugary and sticky foods. By following these tips and wearing aligners as directed, you can successfully progress in your orthodontic treatment journey even while fasting. Never hesitate to consult your dentist or orthodontist for any concerns regarding your aligners.



Related Articles