Updated: Jan 21
Coming back from summer can be a challenge and getting into the college routine can take a bit longer than expected. Students always seem to be balancing too many things to pay attention to the smaller details in life.
But the smaller details matter, especially when it comes to dental care. Everyone loves a bright and beaming smile, but just because someone has pearly white teeth doesn’t mean there isn’t damage going on at a deeper level. Something as simple as taking time to brush our teeth twice a day is a good start to helping maintain a healthy mouth.
Thanks to the College of Dentistry in UK, we can seek out and receive trustworthy tips to incorporate into our lives. Serving the Commonwealth for over 55 years, the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry is home to more than 2,400 alumni, a commitment to innovation and a leading program worldwide. Their mission is rooted in providing quality education, an advancement of oral health and unique discoveries through research, all while building community.
Wondering about some common issues that impact the smiles of busy college students? Kathryn Wade, a dentist and professor within the UK College of Dentistry, has shared some quick tips to pass along to students when it comes to caring for their teeth this school year.
1. Be mindful of the drinks we consume other than water. "Other options, such as soda, juice, energy drinks, and coffee may have high sugar content and/or be high in acidity—both of which can work to damage your smile,” Wade said. While water is the most hydrating drink for our bodies, it also assists in cleaning our mouth from bacteria, making it a vital ingredient for overall health.
2. Late-night snacking is a common activity among students in college, and many times we consume comfort or junk foods and drinks. Even when study sessions run into our sleep time, it is still so crucial to brush and floss afterward. “Don’t give the bacteria in your mouth the chance to build up overnight,” Wade said.
3. While growing in society today, vaping, Juuling and using e-cigarettes may not be the best for teeth. Wade warned that the ingredients in these products include “a wide range of chemicals, some of which may allow cavity-causing bacteria to better stick to, and damage, the surface of teeth.”
4. As we are heading into a colder season, we may want to use weather as an excuse to slack on our oral care routine-- sort of like when we don’t brush our hair and we stick a beanie on, instead. Any dentist would tell you, though, that it’s best not to slack on regular dental appointments as they can “help ensure you maintain a healthy smile and catch any potential issues early before they become bigger problems,” Wade said.
Thankfully, the College of Dentistry has multiple clinics that are eager to serve students at the University of Kentucky. Experienced faculty dentists see patients for both general and specialty dental services. Appointments can be made at one of several on-campus locations or the UK HealthCare clinic at Turfland on Harrodsburg Road. For scheduling, call 859-323-DENT, and commit to caring for your oral health this school year.