College is an exciting time in your life. Not only do you get to learn and begin on your career journey, but you also get the opportunity to form new social groups and interact with friends. Unfortunately, some of the social activities and habits that are common among college students are not the best for your oral health. Here are four common college habits to avoid if you want to protect your teeth and gums.
Drinking sugary beverages.
Whether it's an alcoholic beverage enjoyed at the bar or a caffeine drink to wake you up, sugary beverages are so common in college culture. The sugar in these beverages clings to your teeth and feeds oral bacteria, which release acid that causes tooth decay. Try to opt for lower-sugar versions of alcoholic drinks, and enjoy your coffee with a splash of milk and artificial sweetener instead of cream and sugar.
Because charcoal is used to burn the tobacco, smoking hookah exposes your oral tissues to even more toxins than smoking tobacco. It might be a fun social activity, but it's best avoided. Tell your friends about the negative effects of hookah, and find something safer to do in your downtime -- like playing darts or video games.
Eating processed foods.
So many processed foods contain many grams of hidden sugars, even if they don't taste sweet. Look at the back of your frozen dinner the next time you buy one. Chances are it will have 30 or 40 grams of sugar! This is no better for your teeth than sucking on sugary candy. So try to eat whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible to minimize tooth decay and gum disease. If you're really in a rush and need to buy a processed meal, check the labels and opt for the one with the lowest sugar content.
Skipping dentist appointments.
It can be hard to schedule a dental appointment if you're living hours from your dentist in the college dorms. When you come home for a holiday, you might have too many other things to get done -- and seeing the dentist gets pushed to the bottom of the list. A good solution is to find a dentist near your college. This will make it easier to schedule appointments between classes and your other obligations. In most cases, you'll want to see your dentist for a cleaning and checkup every 6 months -- though your dentist may recommend coming in more often if you have any ongoing issues. For more information, talk to a dentist like Bradley T Piotrowski DDS MSD LLC.