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

Dear valued patients of Williams Lake Smiles,

Greetings to patients and friends of Williams Lake Smiles!

June is here and hopefully, more summer weather is headed our way!

We are feeling excited and optimistic about the months to come as it appears that there is some positive easing of restrictions in British Columbia. Our team hopes this means that you will be able to slowly begin to see loved ones and move around a little bit more. Good news for us all!

In our office, your health and safety is still our utmost concern so we would like to update you and review our current protocols.

We are happy to be able to move from our online covid pre-screening forms to a verbal questionnaire. This means that you will no longer be required to do the online covid form before every appointment.
For the continued health and safety of all, we ask that you do not attend our office if you feel unwell at all or have traveled outside of the country within the past 14 days. We will ask you covid screening questions on the phone, at the time of scheduling appointments, and then again at the time of your arrival in our office. Mask wear is still mandatory for anyone entering our office. Your temperature will still be taken, shoe coverings provided and we will have you use hand sanitizer upon check-in at the door.

We will still be doing all we can to limit the amount of people in the office at one time and who you come into contact with while you are here.
We ask that you do not arrive too far ahead or drop off family members early for scheduled appointments. If our waiting room is full, we may ask you to remain in your vehicle and we can call you in as soon as we are ready. Please do not bring any extra people with you into the office. No spouses, children or siblings can accompany you to your appointment in the office.
We will continue with all other enhanced safety protocols to ensure that the health of our patients and staff team are our first priority and allow us to continue to provide you with our full range of exceptional dental care.

The Williams Lake Smiles team thanks to our amazing patients and friends for their ongoing patience and support through these unprecedented times of the past year and moving forward.
We appreciate your trust in us to help you be the healthiest you can be!

Please contact us with any questions or to schedule any of your dental needs.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rudy Wassenaar and the team at Williams Lake Smiles


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