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Do you still have to brush your teeth if you have a feeding tube?

ANSWER

Yes, you still need to take care of your teeth and gums. Even if you get most or all your nutrition from a tube, your oral health is still important. Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue daily, and keep your lips moist with balm or petroleum jelly.

From: Living With a Feeding Tube WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 15, 2019

Medically Reviewed on 9/15/2019

SOURCES:

ALS Association: “Maintaining Good Nutrition With ALS: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Friends,” “FYI … Information About Feeding Tubes.”

The Oley Foundation: “Choosing the Right Tube for You,” “Home Enteral Nutrition,” “Living With Enteral Feeds: An Exploration of Physical and Psycho-Social Issues,” “Restaurant and Bathroom Cards,” “Swimming With IV Nutrition/Tube Feedings,” “I Can Eat in Restaurants.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “Tube Feeding With a Pump,” “Tube Feeding Using the Gravity Method.”

Oral Cancer Foundation: “How to Use and Care for Your Feeding Tube,” “PEG Complication Chart.”

Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation: “Tube Feeding Basics: Site Closure.”

The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: “Tube Feeding: What You Need to Know.”

CP Family Network: “DIY Blenderized Diets for Tube Feeding.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 15, 2019

SOURCES:

ALS Association: “Maintaining Good Nutrition With ALS: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Friends,” “FYI … Information About Feeding Tubes.”

The Oley Foundation: “Choosing the Right Tube for You,” “Home Enteral Nutrition,” “Living With Enteral Feeds: An Exploration of Physical and Psycho-Social Issues,” “Restaurant and Bathroom Cards,” “Swimming With IV Nutrition/Tube Feedings,” “I Can Eat in Restaurants.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “Tube Feeding With a Pump,” “Tube Feeding Using the Gravity Method.”

Oral Cancer Foundation: “How to Use and Care for Your Feeding Tube,” “PEG Complication Chart.”

Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation: “Tube Feeding Basics: Site Closure.”

The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: “Tube Feeding: What You Need to Know.”

CP Family Network: “DIY Blenderized Diets for Tube Feeding.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 15, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What kind of formula will you use with a feeding tube?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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