Just as two million students are entering college and university, many away from home for the first time – including here at Queen’s University, St Lawrence College, and RMC – the Ontario Dental Association has issued a warning about some of the dental dangers that accompany student life.
Along with daily brushing & flossing and regular check ups at the dentist, students need to be aware of specific activities that can have a negative effect on their mouths and teeth – perhaps for a lifetime.
Junk Food: When cramming for tests or staying up late researching for a paper, convenience and fast foods can win out over nutritious snacks and nourishing meals and that can lead to poor dental and overall health and well-being.
Alcohol: From the carbonation in beer to the acid and sugar in mixed drinks and wine, alcoholic beverages are no friend to your teeth and can cause cavities, enamel erosion or tooth sensitivity.
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Smoking and Vaping: We all know how bad smoking and chewing tobacco is for us and there are still no conclusive, long-term studies indicating e-cigarettes are a safe or healthier alternative to smoking.
HPV and STIs: Increasing research suggests the human papilloma virus (HPV) is the main cause of some mouth and throat cancers. Symptoms of other sexually transmitted infections (STI) can also include mouth sores and other forms of oral inflammation.
“Your dentist can spot possible trouble long before you can see or feel it,” said Dr. LouAnn Visconti, Ontario Dental Association President, in a release. “Take advantage of the dental coverage included in tuition fees, or through your parent’s work benefits and keep regular appointments with the dentist. Keeping your mouth healthy means you can focus on your studies and social life instead!”
The Ontario Dental Association has been the voluntary professional association for dentists in Ontario since 1867. Today, they represent more than 9,000, or nine in 10, dentists across the province.