Three College Habits That Are Bad For Oral Health

College is a busy time during your life when so much of your future is being decided. Not only are you making decisions that will affect your career for years to come, you're also making decisions that will impact your health for decades. The habits you take part in now will impact your dental health, specifically, for years to come. Here's a look at three bad college habits to avoid if you want your teeth, gums, and oral tissues to stay in good health through the years.

Smoking Hookah

It might seem like a fun thing to do with friends on a Friday night, but smoking hookah is actually quite dangerous. The tobacco smoked in hookahs is not as closely regulated as that used in the cigarette industry, so it may contain even more toxins than cigarette smoke. Partake in hookah, and you'll be increasing your risk of periodontal disease (which can eventually lead to lost teeth) and oral cancer – not to mention various other cancers of the respiratory tract.

Drinking Cocktails and Sugary Drinks

Drinking has essentially become the college pastime of choice among many students. Alcohol itself is not great for oral health, though consuming it in moderation is far from the worst thing you can do. What's really dangerous is always reaching for sugary drinks like cocktails and alco-pops. Common drinks, like rum & Coke and vodka & orange juice, bathe your teeth in sugar for hours while you sip them. If you're going to drink, try opting for a less sugary option like light beer or gin & tonic.

Skipping Dental Checkups

College is one of the busiest times of your life, so you might be tempted to put off things like scheduling regular dental checkups – especially if this means driving back to your hometown to see the dentist. But skipping checkups is not wise, since small issues might develop into big ones before they're caught. Find a dentist near your college campus to make attending regular appointments easier. Or try to schedule an appointment whenever you go back to your parents' house for a holiday or break.

Don't let your college years wreak havoc on your smile. By avoiding hookah, choosing less sugary drinks, and attending your dental checkups diligently, you can keep your teeth and gums in great shape throughout these four years and the years to come. Contact a clinic like Barnstable Dental Associates for more tips and advice.