It's no secret that life as a college student is super-busy. Studies by the U.S. Department of Education indicate that 75% of students are juggling families and/or jobs while also attending classes. Between work, family obligations, classes, and study time, sticking to an oral hygiene routine can be tough. It's tempting to run out the door without brushing your teeth in the morning when you have a 7 am class to make, or to skip flossing because you're already late for work.
The way you care for your teeth now will impact their health later in life. If you want to keep your natural teeth well into old age rather than resorting to dentures at age 50, you need to pay attention to your oral hygiene routine. Here are some tips to help make dental care a priority in your busy schedule.
Find a dentist who is open on the weekends.
Many students skip their regular dental checkups because they have a tough time scheduling them between work and classes. Thankfully, dentists like Dillon Family Dental PLLC and others are becoming aware of this struggle, and some are offering hours on the weekends. Find a dentist in your area with weekend hours, and make an appointment. It's better to have a cavity detected and filled now when it's small, rather than wait a few years and find out you need to have the tooth capped.
Keep dental floss in your car or purse.
If you skip flossing because you're in too much of a hurry in the morning, bring the floss with you. Floss your teeth while waiting in traffic (not when the car is moving, please!) or in the school bathroom between classes. You could even pack your toothbrush and toothpaste and get an extra brushing session in between classes.
Stock up on toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss ahead of time.
Who has time to run to the store just for a new toothbrush? If you find yourself forgetting to replace you toothbrush or going for days without toothpaste just because you can't find a minute to run to the store, buy a year's supply of dental hygiene products at once. Remember, you should replace your toothbrush every 3 – 4 months, so you'll need about 4 of them for the next year.
Stop sipping on that coffee.
If you're in the habit of sipping coffee or tea with sugar in it all day, you need to quit. You're essentially bathing your teeth in sugar all day, which will promote tooth decay. Even black coffee is not a good idea in large quantities, since it is acidic and will break down your tooth enamel. Switch to water or sugar-free tea instead.
As a college student, you are making plans and preparing for the rest of your life. Don't forget to make caring for your teeth a part of that plan. You'll need them for at least another 60 years.