For the first time in 3 years, Year 11 and Year 13 students in the UK will be sitting their GCSE and A level exams. It can be a stressful time and hard working students can often forget about their diet and looking after their oral hygiene. This can lead to them getting run down and unwell – not ideal when school’s are so keen for kids to be present for all exams. So here are a few quick tips to try and help keep your teen fit and well this exam season.
EAT WELL – this might seem obvious but during exams it is especially important to eat healthy meals as it is so easy to grab for sugary unhealthy drinks and snacks when studying. As well as causing tooth decay and obesity, sugary snacks elevate glucose in the bloodstream and can be harmful to the brain, resulting in slower cognitive function and memory and attention problems. Eating a healthy diet with a balance of protein, antioxidants, omega-3 and dairy will help you feel energised and ready to cope with your exams.
Invest in a new toothbrush. Dentists advise that you replace your toothbrush every 3 months. Toothbrush bristles become worn out and become more abrasive on your gums, leading to gum recession and inflammation. Did you know that your toothbrush is also loaded with germs? Researchers at the University of Manchester found that an uncovered toothbrush can harbor more than 100 million bacteria – YUCK! Don’t panic, brushing your teeth is unlikely to make you sick. However, if you are sick or have a weakened immune system it is probably worth throwing out your toothbrush more often. It is also worth reminding your teen to brush and floss regularly, reminding them of what all that bacteria potentially can do. Take a look at our guide to finding the best toothbrush and best toothbrush offers if you think a new toothbrush is needed.
Ensure good oral hygiene – did you know that poor oral hygiene can be a factor in horrible throat infections like tonsilitis? Good oral hygiene doesn’t only mean brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. It is also important to floss daily and limit sugary food and drinks. A water flosser is a good investment especially for people with braces, as they can reach areas where food particles hide. They can be tricky to get the hang of but once you have they help remove plaque which can lead to dental problems. We like the Waterpik water flosser available from Boots and is currently on offer for £45.
Toothbrush Storage – think about how you store your toothbrush to prevent as many germs lingering as possible. Our top tips would be to: thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after use and then allow it to dry, as bacteria really like a moist environment; keep your toothbrush upright and in a holder it is less likely to come in to contact with other family members brushes and don’t ever share toothbrushes! John Lewis have a great range of toothbrush holders – we really like the Joseph Joseph ones.
Toothbrush Sanitizer – We are no scientists so we can’t tell for sure how effective a UV toothbrush sanitizer is but the DSHOW UV Toothbrush Sanitizer seems a pretty good option. As well as claiming to can clean 99.9% of the bacteria on your toothbrush in 5mins, it is also an attractive wall mounted toothbrush holder. Currently available from Amazon for £22.99.
And finally.. Remember that bathrooms are normally the smallest room in the house and the toilet is pretty close to the sink so best to think about where you keep your toothbrush. Every toilet flush sends a spray of bacteria into the air and you don’t want that anywhere near your open toothbrush!