Bad habits cause bad smiles

Its 3 in the morning and you just had a taste for a late night snack. You go the kitchen only to find nothing worth eating, on the counter is a Snickers’ bar. A creamy chocolate, king-size Snickers. The candy you know that you not supposed to eat this late. So you decided to take a bite of that crunchy bar and your teeth begin to ache and that is just the beginning of your problems.

In their recent survey of college students, The Nova Scotia Dental Association showed that there are more students not visiting the dentist or taking care of their smiles.

Most students are in a rush and pay little to no attention to what is in their mouths.

Kara Johnson a 20-year-old junior Health Care Management student from Tallahassee, said “I have a bad habit of eating sweets and when my teeth begin to hurt, I ignore it at first. But I am one of those people who floss and brush my teeth on a regular basis.” Johnson stated.

Some students do brush their teeth on a regular basis, but that may not be enough.

According to the NSDA, most people ranging from ages 15-32 are living with many forms of infections in their mouth. One of the most common is Gingivitis, a disease which occurs when inflammation and infection destroy the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, ligaments and the alveolar bone.

Smoking also is not healthy for one’s smile. People who smoke are prone to having bad breath, in addition to causing bleeding to the gums, dental plaque, calculus and/or tartar.

According to the NSDA, bad breath is not only common among smokers, but non- smokers as well. Poor oral hygiene, gum disease, tooth decay, strongly flavored foods, persistently dry mouth, dieting and not eating regularly, anxiety and nervousness are all factors that can lead to bad breath.

Preventing bad breath, however is quite easy. Using a variety of toothpastes, mouthwashes amd mouth sprays are a start, according to the NSDA

There are also numerous ways to preserve your teeth and have a healthy smile. One way is to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. However, some students feel that a regular check-up to a dentist is very costly.

“The only time I feel the need to head to a dentist is when a pain comes, and doesn’t go away,” said Natasha Moore a freshman, Sociology major from Orlando.

Joseph Young, a Biology major from North Carolina said that a regular check-up at the dentist costs almost $80 or more for someone without insurance. “What college student can afford that?” Said Moore, 19, “not me, especially since I go to FAMU.”

Yet the NSDA says there are other ways that are less costly which will help to keep your smile healthy. Brush your teeth twice everyday. The most commonly recommend toothpaste should contain tarter control. In addition, whitening toothpaste is not always as effective as one that contains tarter protection. Brush gums to avoid gum irregularities and in some cases, use a special mouthwash. Not all fruity or mint mouthwashes are effective as ones without the mint taste. Lastly, but equally as important, use dental floss before and after eating food because floss reaches many areas that toothbrushes can not.