College life is a thrilling chapter filled with late-night study sessions, new friendships and newfound independence. Amidst the excitement, it’s crucial not to neglect one’s dental health. Good oral hygiene practices can help college students maintain a healthy smile, prevent dental issues and leave a positive impression on potential employers. As students gear up for another exciting school year, they can follow seven tips to prioritize their dental health.
- Stick to a routine. Brushing teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste helps remove plaque and bacteria, preventing tooth decay and bad breath. Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
- Flossing is your friend. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between teeth and along the gumline. Incorporate flossing into your daily routine to prevent gum disease.
- Avoid sugary snacking. College campuses are notorious for vending machines filled with sugary treats. However, excessive sugar consumption can contribute to tooth decay. Opt for healthier snacks like fruits, vegetables and nuts.
- Stay hydrated. Water helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids that can harm tooth enamel. Carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated on campus.
- Beware of energy drinks and alcohol. Although often consumed in college settings, these drinks can wreak havoc on your smile. Energy drinks are acidic and contain high sugar levels, which can erode tooth enamel. Alcoholic beverages can dehydrate your mouth and reduce saliva flow, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Moderation and rinsing your mouth with water after consumption is key.
- Protect your smile. If you participate in sports, protect your teeth with a mouthguard. A properly fitted mouthguard can prevent dental injuries, such as chipped or knocked-out teeth.
- Stress management. College can be stressful, and stress can negatively impact dental health. Stress may lead to teeth grinding or jaw clenching, which can cause tooth damage and jaw pain. Practice stress management techniques like exercising and meditating.
A healthy smile is a valuable asset inside and outside the classroom. By maintaining a consistent dental routine and attending regular dental checkups, college students can enjoy all that college life offers.
– Dr. Scott Merritt founded BridgeMill Dentistry in 2002. The office is located on Sixes Road between Ridge and Bells Ferry roads.