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Celebrating faith and preserving smiles

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While indulging on the sweets during Thaipusam is delightful, moderation is key. Photo by Aditya Joshi - Unsplash

Tips for preserving oral health during Thaipusam

By: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Saritha Sivarajan

The vibrant hues of saffron adorn streets, the rhythmic clang of ‘kavadis’ echo through the air, and the spirit of devotion fills every step during Thaipusam. As we celebrate this joyous festival, amidst the fervour and dedication, prioritising oral health remains crucial. Here are some tips to ensure your smile stays bright and healthy throughout the festivities!

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Saritha Sivarajan

The celebratory fervour often means a focus on rituals and fasting. However, dehydration can wreak havoc on your oral health. Sipping water regularly, especially when undertaking physical vows like ‘kavadis’, keeps the mouth moist and prevents bacteria build-up. Bacteria are known to cause tooth decay. So, let’s hydrate for happiness and healthy teeth.

While some devotees observe strict fasts, those opting for light meals should choose nutritious options. Fruits, vegetables, and dairy products provide essential vitamins and minerals that strengthen teeth and gums. Avoid sugary treats and acidic drinks, known to erode tooth enamel, and maintain a balanced diet for a healthy smile. Remember, it is important to nourish your body to nourish your smile!

Next will be the sweet dilemma! Devotees offering prayers often receive prasad and sweets. While indulging is delightful, moderation is key. It’s good to opt for jaggery- or dates-based sweets over processed candies and remember to rinse the mouth with water or brush gently after consuming sugary treats to minimise their impact on the teeth.

The physical demands of Thaipusam can leave you exhausted. Remember to prioritise rest and recuperation. Adequate sleep helps boost your immune system, which benefits your overall health, including your oral health. Thus, remember to rest and recover for a radiant smile!

Amidst the festive buzz, maintaining a regular oral hygiene routine is paramount. Brush twice daily, floss regularly, and consider using mouthwash for added protection. Remember, consistency is key to keeping your smile bright and healthy.

By following these simple tips, you can celebrate Thaipusam with joy and maintain the health of your beautiful smile. May the vibrant colours of the festival fill your life with happiness, and may your teeth remain strong and gleaming throughout the celebrations!

Remember, Thaipusam is a time for spiritual reflection and joyous celebration. By prioritising your oral health, you can add another layer of joy and confidence to your experience. Let your smile reflect the vibrancy of the festival and radiate happiness throughout the celebrations!

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The author is an Associate Professor at the Department of Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Malaya, and may be reached at saritha@um.edu.my

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