Bacteria Management and Oral Care Protocol

Effective oral care and bacteria management play an important role before, during, and after participation in radiation treatment.

Research shows that effective oral care can 

  • Reduce the presence of bacteria
  • Increase appetite
  • Increases alertness
  • Increases salivary flow
  • Reduces incidence of pneumonia
  • Improves overall health and immune function 

Bacteria Management Protocol 

  • Brush mouth/teeth at least twice daily for at least two minutes at a time
  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush
  • Use an alcohol-free mouth rinse
  • Use floss or water flosser daily
  • If provided by your doctor, use magic mouthwash daily 
  • A non-irritating oral rinse can be made using baking soda and salt if needed

Some recommended products include Biotene toothpaste, lanolin lip care products, and waxed floss.

If possible, avoid the following 

Lemon glycerin and hydrogen peroxide can cause decreased saliva production and mucosal abnormalities. 

Lemon glycerin swabs contain citric acid and artificial lemon flavoring. They provide a temporary moistening effect followed by rebound xerostomia due to the acidic ingredients.

The swab head on the lemon glycerin swabstick is not effective at removing plaque. At this time, only soft-bristled toothbrushes remove biofilm and build-up in the mouth. 

Acidic foods and liquids can irritate already compromised tissue in the mouth.

Avoid prolonged use of hard candies or lemon-flavored lozenges.

Use of sponges/foam brushes- research continues to indicate that foam brushes are the least effective at removing debris and bacteria. 

Avoiding oral hygiene and bacteria management can lead to infection, a decline in oral health, and tooth decay.

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Oral Care_Bacteria Management




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