Radiation and Oral Health

What can I do to keep my mouth healthy?

The first step is to see your dentist before you start radiation therapy, and have all the necessary dental treatments that are recommended. Once your treatment starts, it's important to look in your mouth every day for any changes.

Helpful Tips:

  • Keep your mouth moist by drinking a lot of water and using a saliva substitute to help moisten your mouth.
  • Use sugarless gum or sugar-free hard candy.
  • Brush your teeth, gums and tongue with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
  • Don't use mouthwash with alcohol in it.
  • Rinse your mouth several times a day with a solution of ј teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt in one cup of warm water. Follow with a plain water rinse.
  • Choose foods that are good for you and easy to chew and swallow, also sipping liquids with your meal will make eating easier.

Stay away from:

  • Sharp, crunchy food, like tacos or chips, that could cut your mouth.
  • Hot, spicy, or foods high in acid.
  • Sugary food, like candy or soda.
  • Toothpicks.
  • All tobacco products.
  • Alcoholic drinks.


  • Visit your dentist before treatment starts.
  • Take good care of your mouth during treatment.
  • Call your doctor or your dentist if you have any mouth problems.

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