Last month, we discussed ways that we are working to fight cancer here at Digital Smiles. We are proud of our efforts, but we’d really like to encourage and help our patients know how to handle their oral health while taking cancer therapy, like radiation or chemotherapy. The therapy can seem to take over in all areas of your life, but we can help you make sure that your oral health stays positive. Below is a list of some things you can do to keep your mouth in tip top shape while your body goes through treatment.
- See Your Dentist
Most doctors recommend that you see your dentist about a month before your chemo begins. This visit is really important because we need to make sure that you mouth is free of infection before your chemo begins. An oral infection can halt or slow your chemotherapy, so routine dental appointments are imperative while you undergo treatment.
- Keep Your Mouth Hydrated
Chemotherapy makes your mouth feel very dry and sore. It takes a lot of proactive effort to maintain a healthy mouth under these circumstances. Keep water close to you for sips throughout the day, or suck on ice chips. You can also chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy to help stimulate your saliva production.
- Avoid Painful Foods
The sore mouth we mentioned above will also affect your eating habits. Try to slow down when you eat, and take smaller bites. You might want to keep soft foods on hand for particularly painful days. Avoid foods that hurt the inside of your mouth, like crunchy chips, rough candies, or anything overly sweet, sour, spicy, or acidic.
During chemotherapy, your oral health is probably not at the top of your priority list, but it needs to be. It’s very easy to get an infection during this time, especially in your mouth. Take care of your mouth with a few simple steps so that you can spend your time focused on getting better. Contact us for more tips about how to keep your mouth healthy during cancer treatments. We’d love to hear from you soon!