Unfortunately, we have seen college students with a great dental history come home after a few years away at college with some new cavities. So what changed during their time away at school? Let’s look at a few things that can contribute to developing new cavities.
A common cause of the increased decay rate is from an influx in sodas and sugary drinks. This may include regular soda, diet soda, energy drinks, and even sports drinks like Gatorade. When used in moderation, it is typically not a big problem. But the constant exposure to the sugar or acid will weaken the enamel and result in cavities. Even diligent brushing twice per day can’t eliminate the harmful affect of long term exposure to sugar and acid. This information is important for students know when they are up late cramming for a test. Like anything else, moderation is the key.
Other issues responsible for an increase in tooth decay are candies, mints, and fruit snacks. Students that snack on these while studying have constant exposure of sugar. This repeated exposure will lead to tooth decay. Unfortunately, brushing cannot reach between the teeth to eliminate all of the harmful affects of the sugary snacks. I am not recommending that all of these snacks should be completely removed from you diet. Once again, it is all about moderation. Following a snack or candy, finding a way to brush would be ideal. However, it is understandable that everyone isn’t going to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with them to the library. So if you are unable to brush, I recommend drinking water to help cleanse the teeth or chewing sugar free gum. Then be sure to brush when you get home.
We hope a few minor changes can make a big difference. Our goal is to educate students early so they don’t have to learn the hard way!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about you or your child, or visit us at www.dentistwestchester.com.
Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.