Taking care of your mouth before treatment

Good oral care will help protect your teeth, reduce discomfort and help your mouth heal more quickly.

Before treatment, you can take care of your mouth by:

  • eating a balanced, nutritious diet including a variety of foods from the five food groups – fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, meat (or alternatives) and dairy (or alternatives)
  • quitting smoking – call Quitline 13 7848 or talk to your doctor
  • learning how to care for your mouth during and after treatment – ask your dentist or healthcare team for advice.

During treatment, it may not be recommended to have dental work due to a higher risk of infection and bleeding.

If possible, see a dentist before starting cancer treatment. You may need to see a dentist to develop an oral care plan. This is especially important if you already have mouth problems or tooth decay, or if you are having high-dose chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant or radiation therapy to the head and neck area.

This information was last reviewed in May 2016
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