Oral health in pediatric oncology is essential for patient well-being and treatment success.

The dentist is the best trained professional to help ensure that the results are as minor as possible. Also to treat these sequelae and help to restore the functions of the oral cavity as soon as possible for the well being of the patients.

He is diagnosed in Madrid More than 300 cancers per year in children under 18, The main treatments are systemic/chemotherapeutic treatment and surgery. Oncological disease and its treatment They leave oral consequences in patients which affect the general health of the child.so that sometimes the patient has to abandon oncological treatment Due to lack of proper nutrition, For this reason, the College of Dentists and Stomatologists of Madrid (COEM) wants to raise awareness of the importance of oral health in pediatric oncology.

“It has been demonstrated in the scientific literature that good oral hygiene and close monitoring by the dentist Reduce complications of oncological treatment, mainly the incidence and severity of oral mucositis. Reduction in oral mucositis reduces patients dropping out of cancer treatment due to this pathology, and hence, improves their prognosis. you can do it too A good oral hygiene program can reduce the impact on patients’ teeth.The nutrition of patients improves not only during treatment but also in the long term,” explains Dr. Luis Alberto Moreno, member of the Scientific Commission for Oral Medicine of the College of Dentists and Stomatologists of Madrid.

As indicated by COEM, “A complete plan is based on a schedule of oral hygiene care, dietary recommendations, and periodic checkups with a dental professional.”

oral hygiene care

To achieve good oral health, COEM offers a series of recommendations to incorporate into daily life,

This is especially Brushing and oral care are important, Oncological treatments disrupt the balance between the microorganisms present in the oral cavity, both bacteria and fungi. Likewise, it is essential that a dentist examines the oral cavity before starting treatment Prepare the patient to begin treatment in the best possible health condition, Cancer patient should get tested before starting treatment The care plan that best suits your situation,

The most effective home remedy is brushing teeth, In the case of children, parents should do the brushing until the child demonstrates sufficient skills to do it alone. A child up to 8-9 years can brush, but then Adults are advised to do the actual cleaning, It helps to stand behind the child, in front of a mirror, with the child’s head tilted back. Pay attention to your dentist’s specific recommendations for brushing, because if oral mucositis is present, you should take into account that the sensitivity of the oral mucosa can make it very difficult to maintain correct oral hygiene. Although it is expensive, It is important to keep your mouth as clean as possible: So you have to arm yourself with patience and move on!

at the end of each meal

should be brush after all meals, the brush should not be aggressive. Toothpaste should not contain detergent, but it must contain fluoride (we do not want to irritate the mucosa, but the patient needs to harden the tooth surface as much as possible), there are toothpastes without this ingredient on the market, your The pharmacist and your dentist can give you advice.

Another oral hygiene measure that helps maintain the balance between microorganisms gargling with bicarbonate saline solution (0.9% sodium chloride and 5% sodium bicarbonate): Mix half a tablespoon of salt and half a tablespoon of baking soda in a glass (200 ml) of water after each meal. If the child cannot rinse, oral cleaning will be done gently with a gauze or sponge soaked in the solution. Sugar-free chamomile extract can also be used. Shortly after this rinse, brushing will be done delicately. For children under 4-5 years of age, topical application will be done with a swab soaked in the solution.

fluoride mouthwash

rinses with Neutral sodium fluoride at 0.05%, ensuring that babies keep it in the mouth for a sufficient period of time, but without actually swallowing it. They should not eat or drink for a period of time afterward and they should not be combined with chlorhexidine rinses. For children under 4-5 years of age, topical application will be done with a swab soaked in fluoride mouthwash. The dentist may recommend the use of an additional remineralizer instead of using fluoride mouthwash.

Diet and proper eating habits

Do not abuse foods rich in refined sugars (Sweets, pastries, candy, sugary drinks) Trying to reduce the frequency of consumption of these foods and having them only during meals. It is advisable to look for alternatives such as products sweetened with nuts or xylitol.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener product, which It does not cause cavities and helps in saliva secretion Therefore, it is a supplement, if it does not interfere with other treatments, indicated in these patients.

Protect the mucosa from irritation and aggressionAvoid very hot, spicy foods or products with sharp edges.

keep your mouth hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water) and using moisturizing gels. There are products designed for patients with decreased saliva production that are indicated for these patients. Consult your dentist and pharmacist so they can recommend the most suitable one.

It has been shown that during systemic oncological treatment, sucking ice cubes or ice cream reduces the likelihood of the appearance of oral mucosa. Once the child is in treatment, It is essential to maintain adequate oral hygiene daily,

If mucositis does appear, there are various products that can help improve the symptoms caused by it. The most commonly used products are Gels based on chlorhexidine, vitamin E or hyaluronic acid, Generally, these are applied with gauze or cotton swabs to the wounds before each meal. In any case, any product should be used under the supervision of your oncologist, and of course, if you have any questions, visit the dentist.

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