Learn Healthy Dental Habits in College

Woman Smoking Cigarette College is a place where many young adults go to learn, grow, and establish themselves as young adults.

For many people, college is the doorway to adulthood, where you discover your passions and start your career.

Unfortunately, for some young scholars, college is also a place where many of these young adults might skimp on their oral hygiene.

Some clinicians have pinpointed a number of risk factors in college-age students that make them more likely to suffer from tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities.

Today, we want to impart some oral health wisdom on college-aged adults by talking about some of the lifestyle factors that might be harming their teeth and gum health.

4 College Aged Lifestyle Factors That Harm Dental Health

While college is known as a time of learning, it’s also notoriously a time when young adults aged 18-24 make impulsive lifestyle decisions.

College aged students tend to participate in high-risk party behavior that they tend to grow out of once they enter the work force.

The best way for them to prevent dental damage down the line is being knowledgeable on how their choices are impacting their health. Here are some common college aged trends that are bad for oral health:

  • Binge drinking. College partying is synonymous with drinking a lot of alcohol. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 4 out 5 college students consume alcohol on a regular basis. Half of these students binge drink, which is defined by the CDC as someone who consumes 4-5 drinks in two hours.

    While the occasional drink isn’t bad for your dental health, binge drinking can lead to dental decay from alcohol-induced dry mouth. Not to mention, popular alcoholic drinks tend to be incredibly sugary, combined with late night drinking that leads to passing out rather than brushing – this is a recipe for plaque. Another common consequence of binge drinking is vomiting. Throwing up is horrible for your teeth, as it washes your teeth with stomach acid that dissolves enamel.

  • Smoking. Tobacco and marijuana usage is rampant amongst college-age adults. Smoking is infamously bad for your teeth. It causes dry mouth, dental decay, and gum disease. A survey in 2004 found that 51% of all students claimed to be social smokers.

    The thing about social smoking is that it often evolves into chronic smoking, and even social smoking can put you at risk for oral cancer and dental decay. Hookah is also commonly consumed by college students, under the pretenses that it’s less dangerous that cigarettes. Hookah tobacco is filtered through a water pipe before inhalation, which makes it sound healthier. However, it’s actually much more carcinogenic than cigarettes.Another study found that 33.2% of college students smoke marijuana ever year, and more than 20% used marijuana within the past month. Most college students aren’t aware that one of the effects of chronic marijuana usage is gingival enlargement, which is essentially a drug-induced abnormal gum growth due to inflammation.

  • Oral Piercings. While people of all ages can have an oral piercing, they tend to be more common in young adults. Oral piercings are dental destroyers. They cause tooth fractures, tooth chipping, abrasions, and they harbor bacteria. In fact, people with lip piercings are 7.5 times more likely to have gum recession than those without oral piercings.
  • Diet, Sleep, and Stress. When you’re staying up until 3 am, brooding over a text book, and snacking on Cheetos and Mountain Dew, you’re setting the stage for dental issues.  Not to mention, ramen is much cheaper than healthy choices. That’s why the idiom “the freshman 15” exists, because a lot of college students tend to partake in sugary junk food.

    Not to mention, times of duress like sleep deprivation and stress often lead to a decline in basic oral hygiene. High-stress levels have also been connected to gum inflammation. Highly processed junk food causes tooth decay. College students need to beware of their diet and dental hygiene.

As you can see, young adults at the college age tend to partake in lifestyle choices that aren’t great for their oral health. Through proper education and routine dental visits, we can help educate patients on better lifestyle choices for the sake of their oral health. The way you live today will affect you tomorrow.

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Covid-19 (Corona) Virus

                                                                     

                   

Our team at Williams Lake Smiles is excited to have the opportunity to welcome you back soon! Dr. Wassenaar, Dr. Dahia and the whole Williams Lake Smiles team appreciate your continued support and understanding as we continue to move through this difficult time

We are gradually reopening in the safest way to ensure that we take all precautions to keep both our patients and our staff healthy.

At this time, we are focusing on addressing emergency needs for our patients. Full dental services, including hygiene care, will be introduced gradually with priority booking to the patients that were delayed treatment during our time of closure. We will be contacting our patients to reschedule these procedures in the coming weeks.

Our office has always utilized personal protective equipment (PPE) that has exceeded all the recommended guidelines. We consciously designed our office with well-spaced, separate treatment rooms that allow minimization of aerosol transfer throughout the office. We have also added a brand new HEPA air management system to allow continuous air filtration in all treatment rooms and common areas to remove germs from circulating air. This puts us in a good position moving forward. However, in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have instituted additional guidelines and protocols to ensure your safety and that of our team.

Upon returning to Williams Lake Smiles you will notice our new enhanced precautions:

-When you are scheduling an appointment, our staff will ask you a set of health-related questions.

-You will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via email and asked a set of pre-appointment instructions and health-related questions. It is required that you complete this questionnaire prior to your appointment. We will have to reschedule your appointment if we are unable to complete this step. Please also give our administrative staff all the necessary personal contact information to expedite our communications with you and your family.

-We have implemented new protocol for scheduling your appointments and managing your insurance and financial transactions virtually to allow for a contactless exit from your appointment.

-There will be new arrival procedures to guide you from your car directly to treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces and other patients.

-You will be asked the above screening questions again on your arrival to your appointment.

-Your temperature will be taken on arrival. Again, we will have to reschedule your appointment if your temperature is elevated.

-You will be asked to put on the provided shoe covers and disinfect your hands upon arrival.

-All non-essential companions will be asked to remain outside of the clinic during the appointment. This includes friends, spouses, drivers, parents, and other children.

-We will maintain social distancing in the reception area for essential caregivers and parents of minors if they absolutely cannot wait in a vehicle or outside the clinic.

-We have removed magazines and other items that can harbor or transfer germs of any kind

-Glass barriers have been added in our reception area

-We have enhanced clinic disinfection procedures before and after all appointments.

-You will see new personal protection equipment like visors, gowns, and different masks for our doctors and team to provide barriers against the smallest of germs.

-We have protocols to reduce or eliminate airborne aerosols during all dental procedures.

-We have enhanced continuous disinfection procedures of equipment and office fixtures like computers, keyboards, telephones, tablets, chairs, doorknobs, and buttons that may be touched unconsciously.

-We will be disinfecting all outside mail and packages that enter the building.

-We will have longer appointment times for you to prepare and complete all appointment tasks and duties in the safest and most comprehensive manner.

-Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean fewer options will be available for scheduling your appointment.

We ask that, as we have so many patients to see, you treat your reserved dental appointment with the highest level of respect. Answer the screening questions honestly. Please arrive on time for your appointment. We may not be able to see you if you are late. If you miss your appointment it may be quite some time before we can get you back in.

We are committed to maintaining our high standard of dental health and safety under these new circumstances and appreciate your confidence in us.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

We are all excited to get back to work. Thank you for being our patients. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbours, and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rudy Wassenaar

Dr. Sophia Dahia

And the entire Williams Lake Smiles Team


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