College is a time in your life when you feel free and independent. You may be up all night studying, partying or both. But as you head off into independence it’s still important to get enough sleep, eat right and take care of your teeth.
Here are some tips to walking into college with a smile:
- Visit the dentist before you start college. Make sure your teeth and gums are in tip-top shape before you leave home and visit the dentist regularly when you’re on breaks.
- Brush and floss regularly. Sure, it’s a no-brainer, but sometimes people don’t take the time they need to care for their teeth and gums. If you don’t, you’re at risk for cavities and gum disease.
- Watch your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can give you bad breath. And it can prevent you from taking the care you need to keep your mouth and gums healthy.
- Eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Sure you may want to reach for that cookie or energy drink to give you an extra boost at midnight as you’re struggling to finish your paper. But that extra sugar means you’re at risk for cavities, and the freshman 15. The sugar in sodas or energy drinks, and starches like chips and other snack foods, can stick like a magnet to the plaque on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque turn sugar into acids that are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth. That’s how cavities get started.
- Sleep. It’s important. And don’t forget to brush your teeth at bedtime. A relaxing routine that includes brushing and flossing lets your body know it’s time for sleep.
College life is fun and exciting. But take care of yourself. Your mom would want you to. Learn more about how a good diet can help keep you and your teeth healthy during the school year and beyond.