You are finally out of the house. There’s no longer a parent to tell you to eat your greens or a coach that keeps you running laps. While this situation can bring a great sense of freedom at first, it often leads to the “freshman 15” phenomenon, or the common tendency for students to gain weight during their first year of college. Studies suggest that this weight gain is due to a poor diet, bad habits and lack of exercise.
While the effects of a college lifestyle may be more evident on your body, they impact your teeth too. Poor dietary choices and other unhealthy habits can wreak havoc on your dental health. Here are some “college life” tendencies to watch out for if you want to get a good report from your dentist:
Sodas and Energy Drinks: Are you relying on these types of beverages to get you through the day? Even worse, are you sipping on them throughout the day? Your teeth and gums are getting a sugar and acid bath when you gulp down sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks. This can erode your tooth enamel and put you at much greater risk for cavities.
Tobacco Use: Whether you are trying to fit in or exploring your freedom, using tobacco is a devastating choice for your oral health. Whether it is smoked or smokeless, tobacco disrupts your mouth’s natural healing abilities and makes you more susceptible to gum disease. Smoking also leads to bad breath and tooth stains, which are not good attributes if you are trying to find your future mate.
Poor Oral Hygiene: College is also full of late night studying and rushing to classes and social gatherings. This may cause you to put regular brushing and flossing on the back burner. In addition, many college students skip their routine dental exams while they are away at school. Unfortunately, your dental health will suffer. Allowing plaque to build up and harden on your teeth and gums can create serious trouble within your smile, often leading to discomfort and costly treatment.
Need to schedule that six-month cleaning next time your home from college? Give us a call. At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we love helping students of all ages maintain a healthy and confident smile.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,