Brushing Teeth on Minor Fast Day

Is one permitted to brush his teeth or use mouthwash on a minor fast day?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

It’s better not to, in part because we are not even supposed to taste food on a fast day, even without swallowing it. Also, if you want to wash your mouth out afterwards, there is always the chance some water would accidentally be swallowed. However, if skipping such activities would cause you significant discomfort, it’s fine to brush or to use mouthwash – especially since toothpaste and mouthwash are not truly edible. It’s better if they can be done without rinsing the mouth out after, but in cases of need that can be done as well. But of course, you have to be very careful not to swallow any water in the process.

Note that this discussion pertains to brushing on minor fast days alone. On Yom Kippur brushing is forbidden for multiple reasons.

(Sources: Shuchan Aruch O.C. 567:3, Mishna Berurah 11, Minchat Yitzchak IV 109).

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