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Mouth care when your child has a feeding tube


Children with feeding tubes still need mouth care at least one (1) time each day. Here are some tips for good mouth care:

  • If your child is allowed to eat by mouth, he should brush his teeth after eating. Your child may floss if it can be done without causing mouth irritation.
  • Always have your child brush his teeth after eating sweets or sugary foods.
  • Use a soft toothbrush. Let it dry completely after each use.
  • Use a new toothbrush every day if your child had an allogeneic bone marrow (stem cell) transplant. Otherwise, use a new toothbrush every 2 months.
  • If your child cannot brush his teeth, you can clean them with moist gauze wrapped around one (1) finger, a small sponge, or a foam toothbrush. The St. Jude staff can help you find these items.
  • If your child tends to swallow toothpaste, use plain water to clean the teeth.
  • You may use lip balm on your child’s lips to keep them from getting dry and chapped.
  • Only use mouthwashes prescribed by your child’s medical team.

Tell your St. Jude team about any sores you see in your child’s mouth.

mouth care


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).