Oral Health Care during Cancer Therapy
- Brush your teeth and tongue gently with an extra-soft toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime.
- Floss teeth once a day but avoid areas that are bleeding or sore.
- Don’t use mouthwash that contains alcohol.
- Rinse mouth with a baking-soda and salt solution; then rinse with plain water. Do this several times a day.
- Exercise the jaw muscles three times a day by gently opening and closing the mouth as far as possible (without pain) 20 times a day.
- Avoid eating irritating or rough-textured foods, and use liquids to soften or thin food.
- Talk with your physician about appropriate topical and systemic pain medications.
- If you smoke or chew tobacco, ask for help in trying to quit! People who quit smoking or chewing tobacco have fewer oral complications from cancer treatment.
FOR DRY MOUTH
- Sip water frequently.
- Suck ice chips or sugar-free candy.
- Chew sugar-free gum.
- If appropriate, use a saliva substitute spray or gel, or prescription saliva stimulant.
- Avoid lemon glycerin swabs.