So you just got admitted into college, and you can’t wait to start? Congratulations to you!
Going to college is a unique and memorable experience for most young people because it presents a host of new opportunities and experiences. For starters, you are moving away from home (probably for the first time) to start life in a new environment, where you will gain access to some level of freedom —and a share of new responsibilities too. You will also get to make new friends, adapt to new routines and much more.
Of course, the new college life can be pretty overwhelming for some people, especially for those who are not adequately prepared with the right information to see them through this new phase in their life. However, with adequate information and planning, things are bound to get easier for you. One of the areas where college students often encounter challenges is in their dental health management. Luckily, though, this article will teach you the essential things to know about managing your dental health in college. Read on to discover more.
Reports have shown that people’s dental habits from a young age, especially during college, are crucial for determining how strong their oral health will be for the rest of their lives. This means that your dental habits at this stage will lay the foundation for whether you will have strong or weak teeth as you grow older. For this reason, dental health professionals, like dentist Dr. Alisa Lange, have advised college students to be more intentional about their dental health.
Top Dental Risk Factors for College Students
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption
One of the most common dental risk factors that college students face is the excessive intake of alcohol. Seeing as these students are basking in their newly found freedom, some of them lose self-control and begin to consume alcohol excessively.
Unfortunately, excessive alcohol use can lead to dental issues like dry mouth, cavities, mouth odor, etc., and you do not want these things for yourself.
- Marijuana, Drugs, and Substance Abuse
Like with alcohol, college students also often develop the habit of abusing marijuana, drugs and other harmful substances. This is mostly due to peer pressure and the inherent need to socialize. According to a survey of various U.S. universities in 2004, about 51% of college students who smoke do it to socialize. Sadly, though, abuse of these substances is not healthy for your oral health and could lead to various dental issues.
- Caffeine Abuse
Many students in college also get hooked on caffeine because they want to stay up to read late at night. But this is not a healthy habit, and it can cause severe damage to your dental health.
- Inability to Keep Up With Dental Health Routine
Considering that college life can be stressful for some people, students might find it challenging to maintain their regular dental health routine. For instance, some students might not have the strength and will to brush and floss their teeth at night after the activities and stress of the day. This could also affect their oral health negatively.
Top Dental Health Tips for College Students
Knowing the most common dental risks college students face, it is also vital to consider some practical dental care tips to help them overcome these risks. This section will highlight some of the best dental care tips for college students.
Be Mindful of the Things You Eat
College students often develop unhealthy eating habits because they lack the time or opportunity to prepare adequate meals. Consequently, many end up surviving on snacks and junk food, which could be bad for their oral health. Make sure to plan for a healthy eating routine in college, as this will do your oral health a lot of good.
Do not Forget to Brush and Floss
As much as college life can be stressful and overwhelming, so much so that you might not have enough time and energy to care for your dental and general health, it is still essential that you find a way to incorporate good dental health practices like brushing and flossing into your daily activities.
Avoid Alcohol and Substance Abuse
It is already established that alcohol, drugs and substance abuse can be very hazardous to your dental health. So, it would be best to avoid getting hooked on such things.
See a Dentist
There is only so much you can do and achieve on your own when it comes to dental health care without the help of a qualified dental health expert. So, always make sure to book appointments and visit your dentist frequently.