3 Good Reasons to See a Dentist BEFORE Cancer Treatment

3 Good Reasons to See a Dentist BEFORE Cancer Treatment

Jul 08, 2019

Feel better…Save Teeth and Bones…Fight Cancer


Cancer treatment can cause side effects in your mouth. A dental checkup before treatment starts can help prevent painful mouth problems.


A dentist will help protect your mouth, teeth and jaw bones from damage caused by head and neck radiation and chemotherapy. Children also need special protection for their growing teeth and facial bones.


Serious side effects in the mouth can delay, or even stop, cancer treatment. To fight cancer best, your cancer care team should include a dentist.


Brush gently, brush often

  • Brush your teeth, and your tongue, gently with an extra-soft toothbrush.
  • Soften the bristles in warm water if your mouth is very sore.
  • Brush after every meal and at bedtime.

Floss gently – do it daily

  • Floss once a day to remove plaque
  • Avoid areas of your gums that are bleeding or sore, but keep flossing your other teeth.

Keep your mouth moist

  • Rinse often with water
  • Don’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • Use a saliva substitute to help moisten your mouth.

Eat and Drink with care

  • Choose soft, easy-to-chew foods.
  • Protect your mouth from spicy, sour, or crunchy foods.
  • Choose lukewarm foods and drinks instead of hot or icy-cold ones.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Stop using tobacco

  • Ask your cancer care team to help you stop smoking or chewing tobacco. People who quit smoking or chewing tobacco have fewer mouth problems.

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