Too often we see students return home after year or two away at college with a number of cavities in between their teeth. Many of them don’t have a history of getting tooth decay, so it can definitely be disconcerting. So what happened while they were away that created all of these cavities? Below we will discuss different things to avoid and what your child can do to remain cavity free.
The most common cause of the increased decay rate is from an increase in sodas and sugary drinks. This includes regular and diet soda, energy drinks, and even sports drinks. It doesn’t typically cause any problems if we occasional enjoy any of these drinks, but instead it is the constant exposure to the sugar or acid on the teeth. Even diligent brushing twice per day can’t eliminate their harmful affect. It is important that students know when they are up later cramming for a test that these beverages can have long term affects. Like anything else, moderation is the key.
Another common culprit for an increase in cavities are candies, mints, and fruit snacks. Many students will snack on these while studying and the constant exposure of sugar will lead to tooth decay. Once again, brushing cannot reach in between the teeth to completely eliminate the harmful affects of the snacks. I am not suggesting that all of these things need to be completely eliminated, but once again, used in moderation. After a snack or some candy, brushing would be ideal. However, I understand that not everyone is going to bring a toothbrush with them to the library. In those cases, I would recommend at least drinking water to help cleanse the teeth and brush when you return home.
Hopefully a few minor changes can help limit the risk of cavities that college students face when heading off to school. It is important that they learn these lessons early, otherwise they may have to learn the hard way on summer or holiday breaks.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about you or your child, or visit us at www.brownandkupper.com.
Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.