How Typical College Life Can Affect Your Oral Health

College life can be both rewarding and fun, but it can cause serious damage to your oral health. If you don't take precautions to deal with the risks, then the ensuing damage may take many years, and a lot of money, to eradicate. Here are some of the unique challenges to oral health that college students face:

Late Night Snacking

If there is one art many college students have perfected, it is the inability to keep a regular eating schedule. It's not surprising to miss a proper dinner only to snack on different kinds of food later on, most of them while studying late at night. Unfortunately, this habit is not good for your oral health because you are likely to fall asleep before taking care of your oral health routine. Sleeping with food remains in your mouth provides bacteria with a perfect breeding grounds, and the microorganisms can cause gingivitis.

Poor Nutrition

Still on the issue of food, it's easy for an irregular eating schedule to lead to poor nutrition. It's not easy to sit down to a healthy meal at midnight while trying to cover a topic that you believe will be in the examination the following day. In such cases, you are more likely to resort to available foods, which may not be healthy. Also, the wide variety of foods available at college cafeterias means that (if you don't have food discipline) you may end up always eating sweet, but unhealthy food.

Unfortunately, poor nutrition results in poor oral health. According to Medscape, an inadequate diet leads to a modification of the oral microbial ecology and makes it easy for bacteria to attack your teeth. Poor nutrition also weakens your immune system and makes it difficult to recover from oral health conditions such as sores.

Energy Drinks

Do you find yourself turning to coffee and energy drinks to keep yourself awake at night? Many students do this, especially when they have exams coming up and they feel they aren't prepared (and this is almost always the case).

While using energy drinks may help you pull an all-nighter, it isn't good for your dental health. For one, the drinks are filled with sugar, which feed the bacteria on your teeth. Secondly, most of them are acidic, and the acid attacks and erodes your teeth enamel. This leads to increased sensitivity and susceptibility to bacterial attacks.

Don't let your studies cost you your teeth. Avoid late night snacking, and if you must snack, brush your teeth and floss before going to bed. Try to plan your meals so that you get all the nutritional requirements. As for energy drinks, using straws, swishing your mouth with water after drinking, and diluting the acidic drinks may all mitigate the damage. Talk to your dentist for more tips on having perfect oral health in college.