It is imperative that you make sure your mouth is healthy and strong before you receive cancer treatment so you can prevent oral side effects from developing. About a third of cancer patients develop oral side effects, so prevent them by taking the following steps:
- If you aren’t doing so already, brush your teeth twice a day and floss them once a day. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and soak it in warm water to make it even softer. Be gentle with your teeth and gums in your daily oral hygiene routine.
- Visit your dentist before receiving cancer treatment so they can remedy any oral health problems you already have. Your dentist may also give you additional advice on how to keep your mouth healthy during cancer therapy.
- Quit tobacco use if you haven’t already. Tobacco can cause oral health problems and cancer in the mouth.
- Keep a healthy diet. This is not only good for the mouth, but for your immune system which is often weakened because of cancer. A strong immune system is imperative for the health of your mouth.
- Your dentist may recommend the use of mouthwashes to further protect your oral health. Be sure to avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol, which can irritate oral tissue. You may want to simply try swishing baking soda and water in your mouth.