A new school year is right around the corner. As you prepare to head to college, you have many things you need to gather before you leave. As you pack the essentials, don’t forget to include 7 key items in your dorm dental kit. Here’s what you’ll need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
1. Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Your toothbrush is the most important tool you have to combat cavities. However, not all toothbrushes are the same. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that has earned the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance, which means it has undergone voluntary testing for safety and effectiveness. Pack fluoride toothpaste to keep your mouth clean and enamel strong. Brush your teeth at least twice daily for 2 minutes each session.
Brushing alone can leave 40% of your teeth surfaces uncleaned because your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere. Include high-quality floss or a waterflosser in your dental kit to prevent gum disease. Floss your teeth every day to remove plaque buildup to keep your gums healthy.
3. Pain Reliever
Toothaches can happen with no warning. An over-the-counter pain reliever will keep you comfortable until you can see a dentist. Do not delay treatment or a minor issue can result in the loss of your tooth.
4. Salt and Water
Although you may never expect it to happen to you, 1 in 6 Americans suffers a dental emergency every year. A saltwater rinse kills bacteria and reduces pain and inflammation if the unexpected should happen.
Chipped, cracked, and knocked-out teeth are common dental emergencies. Gauze can control bleeding or hold a dislodged tooth in place until you can get to your dentist.
6. Sterile Saline Solution
A knocked-out tooth can happen at any age. Contrary to what you might have heard, not all knocked-out teeth are gone for good. If you act fast, your emergency dentist can save your tooth. It’s best to hold it by the crown and rinse it with cool water before reinserting it into the socket. If you aren’t successful, place your tooth in the saline solution to preserve it and get to your dentist within the next 30 minutes.
7. Dentist’s Phone Number
If you’re heading out of town to attend college, you’re still going to need to see a dentist every 6 months. Find a dentist in the area and have their phone number handy to establish care for your routine cleanings and checkups.
Although you’ll have many things on your plate, give your teeth and gums the attention they deserve while working toward your college goals. Commit to keeping your mouth healthy to ensure a dental emergency doesn’t interrupt your learning experience.
About Dr. Tavi Henry
Dr. Henry earned his dental degree at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and has regularly continued his education in various specialties, including cosmetic dentistry, sleep dentistry, dental implants, and orthodontics. He is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Book an appointment online or call (303) 951-8414.