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Oral Care Checklist

Oral Care Checklist

Products and practices to maintain oral health during cancer treatment

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  • Use a soft bristles toothbrush to brush your teeth and tongue gently within 30 minutes after eating. Replace your toothbrush every month and after each session of chemotherapy
  • Use an SLS free toothpaste containing fluoride or hydroxyapatite to avoid irritating sensitive gums and teeth
  • Take out your dentures or dental prosthetics and clean it each time you clean your mouth. Remember to take them out while you sleep
  • Use a gentle room temperature salt and soda mouthwash every 4 to 6 hours, or more often as needed
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol or peroxide
  • Floss gently with dental floss once daily at bedtime. However, if you haven’t flossed regularly before treatment, don’t start flossing now
  • Use a lip moisturizer as needed to prevent dry lips. However, avoid applying it 4 hours before radiation therapy to the head and neck
  • Use a xylitol-based mouth lozenge or candy for saliva stimulation to help with dry mouth and prevent oral decay
  • Ask your dentist about a remineralization gel that can help with strengthening your tooth enamel and decrease sensitivity
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, spicy and salty foods, very hot or very cold foods. A humidifier in the room can help with dry mouth
  • Exercise the jaw muscles upto three times a day to manage jaw stiffness, after consulting with your radiation care team. Open and close the mouth gently as far as possible without causing pain; repeat 20 times
  • Make an appointment with your dentist prior to cancer treatment for a thorough exam

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