If you’re a college student, you might be surprised to learn that a recent study from the University of Kentucky found that 2/3 of college students currently have some form of oral disease. Furthermore, researchers found that students with oral health issues struggle more with social anxiety and self-esteem than those who don’t. The earlier those problems can be addressed, the better the chances they won’t permanently affect the teeth and gums or persist into later adulthood.
So, since school is (almost) out and you can look forward to some downtime this summer, it’s a great time to take advantage of your lighter schedule and make an appointment with a dentist in Carmel. In the meantime, keep reading to find out what kinds of issues college students are at risk for and how routine dental care can help!
What Oral Health Problems Are College Students at Risk For?
There are some unique circumstances during the college years that can pose an increased risk to the teeth and gums:
- Poor hygiene habits – Rushing off to class in the morning, falling asleep after late-night studying without brushing and flossing, or simply forgetting to brush at all are all common scenarios for young adults in school!
- Sugary foods and drinks – Whether for the energy rush or simply because it’s convenient, it’s all too easy to grab a soda or candy bar throughout the day. Sugar consumption causes acid production in the mouth that eats away at enamel and causes decay.
- Alcohol consumption – College is notoriously a time when many students begin drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, it can have potential consequences for both overall health and oral health, such as dehydration, dry mouth, and cavities.
Why Are Regular Dental Visits Important?
Thankfully, regular dental visits can help counteract some of the oral health problems mentioned above! Also, it’s important to establish the habit of getting dental care for several reasons:
- These visits are an opportunity to have a dentist to check for cavities. The sooner they can be found, the easier and less expensive it is to fix them!
- It’s also a chance to get preventative treatments such as a fluoride varnish that strengthens the enamel and prevents decay.
- Images will be taken so a dentist can evaluate your wisdom teeth and determine whether you need to have them pulled.
- You’ll also have important screenings for conditions like oral cancer and gum disease.
- Finally, you’ll be able to ask questions about any specific concerns, such as cosmetic issues.
Healthy teeth and gums mean having a beautiful smile, fresh breath and the confidence that goes along with them. Not to mention that you’ll feel great knowing that you’ll start next school year with a clean bill of dental health!
About the Author
Dr. David Kristoff is a general, restorative and cosmetic dentist in Carmel who knows that good oral health in the college years contributes to good oral health for life. With decades of experience treating young adults, he provides a wide range of services – from fillings and cosmetic work to wisdom teeth extraction. If you have any questions, he can be contacted via his website or at 317-846-3436.