Oral Health Tips for College and University Students
Every fall, thousands of students head to college or university, some returning and others attending for the first time. Life as a student can be stressful and exciting, which can lead to poor oral health habits. Here are a few tips to help keep your mouth healthy.
Brush, floss and go to the dentist!
It may seem obvious, but college life can mean healthy habits fall by the wayside. University and college students are known to reduce the frequency of their dental check-ups. Combine that with some of the indulgences that can come with life at that stage and you have a recipe for an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing your teeth daily and make time to see your dentist!
Mind your diet
Coffee, energy drinks, junk food and alcohol – it’s easy to forgo healthy options when you’re a student. Junk food is called that for a reason – its lack of nutrients and high sugar content can degrade your dental health. Alcohol, coffee and energy drinks all have varying levels of sugar and acid (often high levels of both). These can cause cavities, enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity. Learn more about how nutrition can impact your oral health.
Smoking and toking
The negative effects of smoking can’t be overstated; bad breath, yellow teeth and an increased risk of oral cancer. There’s no good reason to keep smoking. Vaping’s effects are still being studied, but there is a chance you’re inhaling more chemicals and, if you’re using it as a cigarette alternative, the nicotine can still be addictive. And while marijuana may seem less damaging, there are still things you should know before you light up. Read more about the oral health impacts of smoking, vaping and cannabis.
Stress can cause you to clench or grind your teeth, suffer from jaw pain and develop dry mouth. Find healthy ways to deal with stress. If you wake up with a sore mouth or teeth, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your issue before it gets worse. Learn more about how stress can affect your oral health.
HPV and STIs
Sexually active students need to understand the importance of safety. Research suggests the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of some mouth and throat cancers. Symptoms of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can also include mouth sores and other forms of oral inflammation.
Keeping a clean and healthy mouth allows you to focus on your studies and make the most of your college or university years!