Does Brushing Teeth Break Fast?

This blog post will address the question, “does brushing teeth break fast” and cover topics like suggestions to people observing fast, importance of brushing teeth before breakfast, precautions for brushing teeth after breakfast, brushing tips for those observing fast and circumstances other than brushing when a fast is not broken.

Does Brushing Teeth Break Fast?

Brushing teeth does not break fast. You must make sure not to swallow anything while brushing.

Some scholars say that even unintentional swallowing of toothpaste or water during brushing does not break fast.

The flavour in the toothpaste is believed to break fast by some scholars but many believe that it does not until you swallow it intentionally.

Almost all muslim scholars suggest use of miswak during fast.

Suggestions To People Observing Fast During Ramadan

Brushing Teeth Does Not Break Fast

Scholars have approved brushing teeth during fasting. According to them, brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste does not break fast unless you swallow the toothpaste down your throat.

Scholars also agree on the fact that unintentional swallowing of part of toothpaste or water during brushing do not break fast and therefore should not put anyone under guilt.

Brushing teeth two times a day, for 2 minutes each, as recommended by the American Dental Association is essential to maintain proper oral hygiene, prevent decay and foul odour during fast.

Visiting A Dentist Does Not Break Fast

If you are facing any dental issue during fasting or it’s time for your regular dental check-up, visiting a dentist will not interfere with your fasting and does not break fast.

It is recommended to visit your dentist once in every six months regardless of the season.

Dental Care For Children During Fast

It is recommended for the children to brush their teeth as a regular routine and no changes must be made. 

Only ensure and be cautious that they do not swallow their toothpaste or water while brushing as it will result in breaking their fast.

Toothbrush Or Miswak

It is recommended by almost all scholars to use miswak, if possible, during Ramadan fast.

However, using any toothbrush of your choice does not break fast.

It is advised by some scholars to use miswak during fast and any toothbrush once the fast timing ends. 

Brushing Your Teeth With Miswak Does Not Break Fast: What Research Say?

Miswak is a traditional and natural dental cleaning method that uses parts of Salvadora persica like its roots, twigs and stem.

Several scientific studies have reported miswak to possess antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-cariogenic, anti-plaque, anti-oxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

The mechanical and chemical cleansing efficacy of miswak chewing sticks have been reported by several studies to be equal  or at times greater than that of the toothbrush. 

A study published in the Saudi Medical Journal confirmed the plaque removing efficacy of miswak and recommends using it as an oral hygiene tool.

When Is It Most Appropriate To Brush My Teeth: Before or After Breakfast?

Brushing Before Breakfast Is Recommended

The guidelines issued by the ADA does not clearly indicate the timing of brushing your teeth, whether it is morning or night or before or after breakfast.

Dentists recommend brushing your teeth everyday in the morning before breakfast and once at night before going to bed.

As far as brushing your teeth in the morning is concerned, it is advisable to brush before breakfast.

Brushing your teeth just after waking up, before having breakfast, helps remove all the plaque buildup overnight and reduce the risk of gum irritation and developing periodontal conditions.

During night, the saliva in your mouth significantly reduces in quantity and therefore allows harmful bacterial film to build up and produce acids that weakens teeth and develop cavities.

Brushing Teeth After Breakfast: Precautions To Consider

If you are a person who likes to brush after having your breakfast, then you must be cautious of the time you brush after breakfast.

Brushing immediately after breakfast, especially if you have acidic foods, is not recommended and can be harmful for your teeth.

Acidic foods like orange juice, citrus fruits, bread and pastries, release acid that creates pores in the enamel.

Brushing immediately after having acidic foods and drinks will erode your enamel, weakening your teeth that may result in tooth decay and tooth loss.

It is recommended to wait for 30 minutes to one hour after having any acidic foods or drinks.

Brushing Your Teeth During Fast: The Correct Way

Here is how you can brush your teeth while fasting with correct technique and avoid breaking your fast:

  • Use a small amount of water to lubricate your brush. 
  • Put a small, pea-size amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush head or if you do not want to use any toothpaste, you can just dip your toothbrush in water and follow next steps.
  • At about a 45-degree angle to your gums , place the toothbrush into your mouth 
  • Use gentle, short strokes to brush your front teeth.
  • Brush the outside surfaces as well as the back molars and upper areas of your chewing surfaces.
  • Brush the inside surfaces of both top and bottom front teeth by flipping your toothbrush upside down.
  • Brush your tongue to get rid of any bacteria or plaque.
  • Spit out the remnants of toothpaste, saliva, and water into a clean sink and make sure you don’t swallow any of it as doing so will break fast.
  • Rinse your mouth with cold water and you are done.

You must note that unintentional gulping down of water or saliva or toothpaste during brushing your teeth, doesn’t cause your fast to break.

Can I Brush Without Toothpaste During Fast?

Yes, you can brush without toothpaste. Toothbrush is essential for removing plaque and preventing tartar formation. Toothpaste is only added for a refreshing breath and for whitening.

Fluoride containing toothpaste, however, is essential for making your teeth stronger and plays a role in caries prevention.

So, if you miss out toothpaste for a few days or a month during Ramadan fast, do not make it an excuse to not brush your teeth. 

Make sure not to form a habit of brushing without toothpaste as fluoride in toothpaste is essential for stronger teeth and other components for preventing malodour and for aesthetics.

Circumstances Other Than Brushing when a fast is not broken

Unintentional Eating, Drinking or Sex

It often happens that you eat or drink or out of passion have sex witthout realising that you are on fast.

Don’t Worry! In all above circumstances, scholars say that your fast is still valid and doing any such thing unintentionally does not break fast.

Unintentional Vomiting

If due to any health issue, morning sickness during pregnancy or any other reason, vomiting occurs, then it does not break fast.

However, intentionally vomiting leads to breaking your fast and invalidates it.

Eye Drops

Taking eye drops does not break fast.


It does not break fast for those mothers who breastfeed their baby.

Swallowing saliva unintentionally

It is quite natural to swallow one’s own saliva and therefore scholars argue that it does not break fast if done unintentionally.

Blood Donation And Blood Tests

Having undergone blood tests or donating your blood for a noble cause, does not break fast and therefore is not prohibited during Ramadan fast.


Inhaler is just moisture and does not provide any food or drink to your body. It is therefore considered by most scholars to continue using inhalers even during fast.

Why You Must Brush While Fasting?

During fasting, the mouth becomes too dry and plaque buildup increases leading to bad breath and increased chances of developing cavities and gum diseases.

So to avoid the dry mouth, you must brush during the fast but make sure you do not swallow anything. 

If not using toothpaste, you can just use water to brush your teeth or may even consider using miswak.


This blog post addressed the question, “does brushing teeth break fast”. We understood some suggestions that people observing fast must follow or consider, the importance of brushing teeth before breakfast, precautions for brushing teeth after breakfast. The article outlined brushing tips for those observing fast and also mentioned circumstances when a fast is not broken.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Does Brushing Teeth Break Fast

Should children be allowed to fast?

Children above the age of 14 are generally allowed to fast but should not be forced.

Fasting below the age of 14 years is not recommended as it may lead to extreme loss and shortage of fluids in the body, leading to dehydration.

Some suggest school children to stay away from fasting as it causes lack of attention, irritation and nutritional deficiencies in some students.

How To Brush Without Breaking Fast?

To brush without breaking fast, it is advised to use Miswak as an oral hygiene tool.

Miswak has antibacterial and anticariogenic properties and provides all the benefits of using a toothbrush or a toothpaste.

Chewing it also stimulates saliva production that flushes away the plaque and prevents its buildup, reducing the risk of developing cavities and decay.

Can I brush my teeth while dry fasting?

Depending upon the type of dry fasting you are undergoing, you can or cannot brush your teeth.

If you are under soft dry fast, then you can brush your teeth as well as bathe whereas it is strictly prohibited to come in contact with water if undergoing hard dry fast.

Is kissing allowed during fasting?

Dry kissing and hugging has no restrictions during fasting.

Exchanging saliva during kissing or having sex is not allowed during fasting and it invalidates your fast.

Does swallowing saliva break fast?

It is quite natural to swallow one’s own saliva and therefore scholars argue that it does not break fast if done unintentionally.

However, swallowing saliva intentionally to quench your thirst or in an attempt to prevent dry mouth will break your fast.

Can You Brush Your Teeth While Fasting Before Surgery?

Yes, you can brush your teeth while fasting before surgery but be cautious to not swallow anything.

6 hours before surgery, a complete fast must be practiced avoiding any type of food and drinks.

Other FAQs about Teeth brushing that you may be interested in.

Why Is It Important To Brush Your Teeth Everyday?

Does Brushing Teeth Damage Enamel?

Does Brushing Teeth Help With Toothache?


Brushing Teeth While Fasting

Ramadan: Six common misconceptions debunked. (2018)

Haque MM, Alsareii SA. A review of the therapeutic effects of using miswak (Salvadora Persica) on oral health. Saudi Med J. 2015;36(5):530-543. doi:10.15537/smj.2015.5.10785

Can You Kiss During Ramadan. (2020)

Should You Brush Your Teeth Before Or After Breakfast. (2021)

Does Toothpaste Break Your Fast? (2020)

Akbar, Imam Uzair, and Mufti J. Akbar. “Circumstances when a fast is not broken.” (2019).

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