Dental Care Advice For University Students

Cheshunt dentist, Dr Melisha Govender, offers advice for first time students.

Some of our Lodge Dental Suite patients will currently be in the process of choosing which university to go to, or be preparing to relocate to one if they have already been offered a place on a course.

This is, without doubt, an exciting time in life which can affect your future in many ways.

Naturally, we wish the best of luck to all students from across Hertfordshire that are about to embark on this journey, but we would also like you to take just a few minutes to read this blog so that you are well equipped to help your teeth and gums stay in good health during this time.

Student life will almost certainly throw up some new challenges to your oral health, and, in today’s blog, we take a look at some of these.

Regular brushing

Especially in your first year, when everything is new and exciting, with many social events; it can be the easiest thing in the world to flop into bed from a late night out, without cleaning your teeth. Especially if you have been drinking, do try to remember to clean your teeth before going to sleep. This can make a major difference in helping you avoid problems such as tooth decay.

Alcohol

Many students will drink alcohol when away from home. Hopefully, you will not suffer too badly from doing so, but it is important to be aware of the damage that alcohol can do to your mouth. Most alcohol contains sugar for a start, but the dry mouth caused by dehydration, whilst you sleep, is also a significant contributor to gum disease. Alcohol is also a known factor in mouth cancers. Try to drink sensibly and stay well hydrated.

Smoking

Thankfully, fewer people smoke now, including the younger generation. Try not to smoke if you possibly can, as not only does it result in stained teeth, but is still the leading cause of mouth cancers.

Junk food

Perhaps the days of students surviving on beans on toast have long gone, but there are now an increasing number of fast food outlets that can be very tempting if you don’t want to, or can’t, cook. Try to keep these to a minimum and perhaps invest in a cheap ‘easy recipes’ cookbook. You will feel healthier for doing so, and your teeth will thank you for it. Try also, to avoid sugary drinks and drink water for re-hydration instead.

Drugs

‘Recreational’ drugs are a reality of life in many university towns and cities these days, but our advice would always be to avoid the temptation. Some drugs have well known long term side effects, including oral health ones, but increasingly ‘designer drugs’ are also widely available. Some of these are described as ‘herbal’, but can be very dangerous indeed. If you are tempted to use drugs, talk to your drug counselor at the university who will be able to offer you advice.

If you are leaving to go to university and are not planning to return home for dental appointments, please let us know. We do recommend that you have a full oral health check before you go, along with any necessary treatment, where applicable. This will at least give you a head start in keeping your mouth healthy. Make sure to register at a dentist in your new university town too.

You can make a dental appointment at The Lodge Dental Suite, by calling us on 01992 643 388.

Dr Melisha Govender is a dentist and practice principal at The Lodge Dental Suite in Cheshunt (GDC 75046).