The Christmas break is over and thousands of students are preparing to go back to university for the spring term; if you’re busy packing or tearing around the shops trying to make sure you have everything you need for the new term, don’t forget to pack your toothbrush.
Students lead a busy life and often, health is not a priority, but the nature of student life means that health problems are actually fairly common. If you’re heading off to university, make sure you take good care of yourself and look after your teeth and gums.
Why is oral health so important?
If you’re at university, you are probably aware that you have a higher risk of colds and coughs because they tend to fly around large groups of people, especially in the winter months, but have you thought about how your oral health could impact your general health?
Studies have shown that poor oral health increases the risk of a host of potentially serious health problems, including heart disease, strokes and diabetes and many of he factors associated with student life increase the risk of both dental and general health problems.
Student life and oral health
It is a stereotype that students sleep all day, eat junk, drink too much and watch daytime television all the time; however, most students would admit that they put their health on a back-burner, especially during their first year. Diet is a major issue, as many students are partial to convenience foods and are guilty of being over-reliant on takeaways, ready meals and sugary snacks. Many would agree that they don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables and most would say that they have a much healthier diet at home.
Diet is a problem for oral health; many of the foods that students consume on a regular basis are packed with sugar and alcoholic drinks, such as alco-pops, fruit ciders and beers, wine and shooters, are often laden with sugar, as well as being acidic, which damages the tooth enamel.
Oral hygiene is another issue, which may increase the risk of dental diseases among students; many would confess to rolling into bed after a night on the town without a second thought for brushing their teeth and many students do not visit their dentist as frequently as they probably should.
Tips for enjoying good oral health at university
The best news about oral diseases, such as decay and gum disease, is that they are preventable and simply adapting your lifestyle very slightly and devoting a few minutes each day to cleaning your teeth will make the world of difference.
While at uni, try to avoid going to bed without brushing your teeth and stick to the recommended 2 minutes of brushing twice a day; try to floss regularly and use mouthwash. Visit your dentist every 6-9 months for a check-up; if you are worried about cost, it is worth noting that routine check-ups are much cheaper than complex courses of treatment.
Try to keep an eye on your diet; avoid eating and drinking foods and beverages that contain a lot of sugar, especially between meals and try to drink plenty of water; as well as helping to wash away bacteria in your mouth, this will also help to reduce the risk of suffering from a horrific hangover. If you’re thinking about getting discreet braces before University, ask the experts for answers to any of those nagging questions.