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Health Tip: Get Your Mouth Healthy Before Cancer Treatment

-- You have many things on your mind before you start cancer treatment, but a visit to your dentist should be on your to-do list.

The American Dental Association recommends:

  • Talk to your dentist about things that can help prevent dental complications from cancer treatment. Potential examples include fluoride treatment, replacing crowns or bridges, or treating existing gum disease.
  • Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush, and soak it in warm water before brushing to soften bristles even more.
  • Floss between teeth daily. Use caution where gums are sensitive or bleeding.
  • Stop using tobacco, which can slow healing.
  • Eat a balanced, nutritious diet.
  • Rinse your mouth regularly to help prevent tooth decay. Skip alcohol-based rinses in favor of a salt-water rinse or a solution with baking soda.

Posted: February 2017


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