A new school year is right around the corner. As you pack your bags to head back to your dorm room, don’t forget to include a few essentials to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Here are 6 must-have items to include in your dorm dental kit.
1. Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Your toothbrush is the most important tool you have to keep your mouth healthy. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes each session. If you’re snacking more often, brush after every meal.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste to clean all surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, which can harbor oral bacteria.
2. Floss or Waterflosser
Brushing alone can leave up to 40% of your teeth surfaces uncleaned because your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere in your mouth. With 50% of Americans having gum disease, daily flossing is important to keep your gums healthy.
Pack traditional waxed floss or a waterflosser to clean between your teeth every day to remove any buildup left behind after brushing.
3. Athletic Mouthguard
If you’ll be playing any sports during the year, include an athletic mouthguard in your dental kit. It will provide a layer of protection for your teeth, gums, jaw, and other oral structures to lessen the risk of a dental emergency.
4. OTC Pain Reliever
Toothaches can occur with no warning. Pack an over-the-counter pain reliever to manage any discomfort, just in case. If you develop any dental pain, don’t ignore it or wait for it to go away. It’s a symptom of an underlying problem that must be resolved, like decay or an infection.
5. Dental Appliances and Cleaning Solutions
If you wear a retainer, or a nightguard, or use another dental appliance, don’t forget to bring it with you. Make sure you pack any necessary cleaning solutions and its storage case.
6. Dentist’s Contact Information
If you’re going to school away from home, you still need to see a dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. Find a dentist near your dorm to have a phone number handy for your next preventive visit.
Researchers have found that your dental health can directly affect your school performance. You can ensure nothing stands in your way of getting good grades by including the right items in your oral health kit to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
About Dr. Shelly Strohman
Dr. Strohman earned her dental degree at the UMKC School of Dentistry and has regularly continued her education in various specialties, including sedation dentistry. She strives to help each patient achieve their best smile. Dr. Strohman is affiliated with many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through her website or call (940) 613-0299.