It's graduation season, which means that many high school seniors are preparing to enjoy their last summer before going away to college. If you're a graduating senior looking forward to your new adult life, there are probably plenty of things you want to do this summer, and visiting the dentist may not be high on the list. But there are some important preventative steps you should take this summer to be sure that your smile stays bright as you head off to your new college life.
Consider Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
It should go without saying that you need to schedule a dental checkup over the summer if you haven't had one lately. While you're there, ask your dentist to evaluate your wisdom teeth and decide whether or not you should have them removed.
Wisdom teeth usually grow in somewhere during the late teen years. In many cases, they're positioned awkwardly or don't have enough room to grow in all the way. When this happens, they can become impacted, which can lead to infections and tooth pain. The last thing you want is a raging tooth infection during your mid-terms or final exams. If you're going away to college, your best bet for avoiding that inconvenience may be to have your wisdom teeth removed during the summer.
Ask Your Dentist About Sealants
It's no secret that college students don't always have the best eating habits or the most organized daily schedules. Of course, you should make it a priority to eat tooth-friendly foods and brush your teeth several times a day. But you may want to look into giving your teeth an extra layer of protection in case you find yourself falling into bed without brushing after a late-night study session and a lot of unhealthy snacks.
Dental sealants are a thin layer of liquid protective coating that your dentist paints on the surface of your teeth. The coating dries within a few minutes, and you're left with an invisible barrier against food particles and cavity-causing germs. Dental sealants are not a substitute for a good oral healthcare routine, but they're an easy way to give yourself a little extra protection during a time in your life when you're likely to need it. They're one of the best preventative dental care services out there.
Locate a Dentist Near Your College
You may plan on getting all your dental checkups and procedures at home during school breaks over the next several years, especially if you're still on your parents' insurance plan. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't find a dentist near your college as well.
You may not be able to go home on no notice if you develop a toothache or chip a tooth at school, especially if you're attending college far from home. Dental emergencies happen, and it's smart to be prepared. Ask your dentist if they have any colleagues in your college town that they can recommend, or spend some time researching dentists in the area. If you attend a university that has a dental school, or if you're going to a college near a dental school, you may be able to get low-cost services there as well.
You want to be able to smile just as widely in your college graduation pictures as you do in your high school graduation pictures, and that means protecting your teeth now. As you prepare for this new phase in your life, don't forget to take the necessary steps to protect your teeth.