Students: Why you need to learn about oral health

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With your whole life ahead of you it's often too easy to neglect your oral health. Research has shown that students that do this are more at risk of losing their teeth than their more attentive counterparts.

No wonder that the British Dental Health Foundation is urging students nationwide to look after their oral health. Its Chief Executive, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, illustrates ways in which you can take care of the basics:

"For many people - around one in four - dental healthcare products are considered a luxury.

"Given the growing number of links between poor oral health and general health problems, dental health is anything but a luxury. To help your money stretch further, ask mum, dad or granny for toothpaste, an electric toothbrush, replacement heads, interdental brushes or floss and mouthwash. These may not sound exciting or glamorous, but they're very important.

"University lifestyle can mean you're more prone to accidents, and a healthy smile does wonders for the opposite sex. If you're playing contact sport, make sure you get fitted for a gum shield. You could lose teeth and suffer damage as the result of biting the tongue or cheek. Fractures of the upper and lower jaw, cheekbones, eye sockets or any combination can have serious consequences."

Diet is very important for students. If it's heavy with takeaways, ready-meals, alcohol and junk food, these will only undermine your oral health, let alone your general health.

This doesn't mean you can't indulge occasionally; it's just best to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Not only will this benefit your teeth, it will also help you achieve better grades!

A diet rich in vitamins and minerals keeps the anti-oxidant levels high. This means a reduced risk of gum disease and resulting tooth loss.

Importantly, remember to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.

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