How to Maintain Your Oral Health During Cancer Treatments
Before, during and after Cancer treatment it is necessary to keep up with your oral health routine. Cancer and cancer treatments can impact your mouth. Talk to your Dentist about your specific treatment and what you can do to keep up with your oral health. Here are some points to consider….
Brush, Floss and See Your Dentist
Your should always brush for two minutes, twice a day, every day. Floss regularly. This will be your best defense to prevent cavities. You should be seen in our office for regular exams. This is most important to do BEFORE you start any Cancer treatment. Some Oncologists will have their patients not have anything invasive done while they are in treatment. Other patients who have chemotherapy ports need to take an antibiotic before they can be treated by a Dentist. Our Dentists can share recommendations about changes you can make to your home habits to help manage potential cancer treatment side effects.
Practice Healthy Habits
This is true for everyone. Eat healthy and avoid smoking, whether tobacco or electronic cigarettes. A balanced diet and regular exercise will keep your immune system working at its full potential. Make sure your diet is full of diverse fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Don’t skip out on getting protein which can be through eggs, beans and chicken.
Keep Your Mouth Clean & Moist
A common side effect of radiation treatments is a dry mouth. Our teeth depend on saliva to help keep the enamel on our teeth strong. A dry mouth that lacks saliva will leave you susceptible to decay and damage to the teeth. The mouth tissues depend on saliva to glide easily over the teeth. It is imperative that you drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist. Rinse your mouth frequently. This is especially important after you vomit – a common side effect of Chemotherapy. Rinsing out the mouth will help keep sugars and acids from collecting on your teeth.
After Cancer Treatments
Keep regularly scheduled appointments, especially after you end your treatment. Certain medications can weaken teeth and leave you at a higher risk of oral health issues. Talk to our knowledgeable dental team about your treatment plan and how they can impact your teeth.
Cancer and Cancer treatment medications, and Radiation can have a significant impact on your oral health. Make our dental team part of your support team during your treatment. Inform us of any medications and treatments you are receiving. Together, we can work on coming up with a solution to keep your mouth healthy and teeth strong while you Fight Cancer!