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  • Writer's pictureDr. Michael Klausner

Our Dental Recs for College Students!

Updated: 3 days ago

             As we begin to really feel the summer heat, for some of our patients, this marks an exciting leadup to their fall semester at college. At Valley Arts Dental we have some important and specific recommendations to our patients heading out to college. We encourage both parents and college students to think about these pointers.

For many, heading off to college for the first time brings a lot of new and exciting experiences. If you are moving on campus, living independently will bring a whole new host of adventures.

Our 5 key pieces of dental advice are as follows:

1: Importance of Oral Health: Oral health is important at every stage of your life. For many up until now mom or dad were there to make sure we fell into healthy routines and developed beneficial habits. They would schedule our dental appointments, buy our new toothbrushes, and remind us to floss.  If there is one piece of advice we can give it is that years of proper routines and habits can be easily undone - so make sure you continue to pay attention to your oral healthcare. For many of you future summers will involve internships or summer classes away from home - but please make sure to keep up with your regular dental care and dental routines. 

2: Stress hurts: Aside from its effects on the rest of the body, stress can have extreme effects on teeth, and unfortunately for many, there are times in college that are stressful. We see many patients come back from a year or two of college with chipped, cracked, or worn-down teeth because of stress. Not to sound like a broken record (Do college students even know what records anymore?) but please make sure to keep up with your regular dental care and dental routines. 

3: Sweet Sugar: The combination of increased freedom and late nights studying can lead to unhealthy routines and habits. From more frequent snacking to consuming more sugary drinks. If you are studying late into the night, try to avoid getting into the routine of doing so with an energy drink, iced coffee, or bag of gummy bears on your desk. While your teeth defend themselves against sugar in most cases, the continuous introduction of sugar ( i.e. sipping an energy drink or iced coffee for hours while studying) can overwhelm the teeth, the saliva can not effectively buffer the acid attack from this and cavities can develop. We get it- you need energy to get through those long nights studying- but try drinking the coffee or energy drink quickly and keeping a bottle of water on your desk for the duration of your study session. 

4: Adderall & Other Medications:  An increasing percentage of college students are being prescribed medications to improve their focus or assist with ADD, ADHD, etc. The vast majority of these medications stimulate the fight-or-flight response ( i.e get you focussed) and turn off your rest-and-digest response ( i.e relax on the couch and eat) . In doing so many on these medications see decreased salivary flow ( which they often combat with sugary beverages) as well as increased clenching and grinding .

5: Those Pesky Wisdom Teeth: According to the American Dental Association- Wisdom teeth often begin erupting between the ages of 17 and 21 years, which tend to be the more common ages of college students. This potentially painful situation can often require tooth extractions. If you feel slight pain or sensitivity developing in the back of the jaws please don’t wait for this to become an issue and get int with your local dentist.


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