At TNT Orthodontics, it’s our job to care about our patients’ oral health. Did you know that your eating patterns and food choices affect your oral health? Well, school is back in session and for many college students that means long days, late night cramming sessions, and getting back to a (not-so-healthy) diet of ramen noodles and pizza. Getting the proper nutrition, especially during school, is vital to maintaining good health. If you’re eating foods that are lacking in the nutrients you need, your mouth will have a difficult time fighting against gum disease and tooth decay. Now, poor nutrition will not directly cause gum disease and tooth decay but, “many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and can be more severe in people with nutrient-poor diets.” Our team at TNT Orthodontics compiled a quick guide to help college students maintain a healthy diet, and a healthy mouth, this semester:
Drink Lots of Water
As you walk around campus, your body loses more water than you may realize and raises the risk of dehydration. Additionally, water promotes fullness which helps stave off hunger. Try to make a habit of bringing a water bottle with you to class.
Not only is fruit a healthy choice, it also makes a convenient snack. Campus dining halls offer a variety of fruit and this snack requires no prep. Students can get fiber, calcium, and water just by eating an apple (and it’s good for your teeth!).
Sometimes your classes are so close together that you don’t have time for a proper lunch. This is when snacks come in handy, but you should choose what you’re snacking on carefully. Go for more nutritious foods like cheese, raw veggies, plain yogurt, fruit, or some of those 100-calorie snack packs.
Take Advantage of the Campus Dining Halls
Yes, the dining hall is a source of ice cream, soda, and other unhealthy snacks. However, dining halls are also sources of fruits, salad bars, vegan options, and in more recent years - nutritional information.
Visit a Nutritionist
Always consult with a professional before making any radical changes to your diet. Many college students often struggle to eat well while at school due to over-stressing and under-nourishing. Visit the school nutritionist, they will analyze what you eat and help you determine what to add and subtract to your diet for optimal health.
Stay healthy and have a productive semester!