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>> Home >> Dental News - Dental Videos

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Placed by : Dental News Worldwide

New York City Celebrity Dentist and Author Dr. Catrise Austin Says, Despite the Economy, 'Oral Healthcare Can't Wait™'

October is National Dental Hygiene Month and Celebrity Dentist and author Dr. Catrise Austin of VIP Smiles in New York City is launching a local consumer awareness campaign to alert residents of the New York/Tri-State community about the potential risks of postponing dental appointments and neglecting their oral health.

Dr. Austin’s Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait™ Campaign is a local component of a national awareness initiative sponsored by The Dental Trade Alliance (DTA), a nonprofit trade association representing leading dental manufacturers, distributors, and laboratories.

According to Dr. Catrise Austin, “There’s no denying that the last 3 years have been tough financially for many Americans across the nation including New York residents. The current economic climate is causing many people to either postpone the dental treatment plans recommended by their dentists, or to put off dental visits altogether. Unfortunately, there are long-term health risks associated with postponing oral care.”

Some of the health risks that Dr. Austin is referring to include the following:

•Tooth decay is a progressive disease. Postponing treatment can lead to more complex, more invasive, and more expensive treatment, such as root canals or extractions.

•According to, one study in the Australian Dental Journal pegged tooth decay as one of the most common infectious oral diseases. These bacterial infections can be contagious and passed along.

•The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) warns that the mouth is the gateway to the body and is challenged by invasions by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. There are 120 diseases, including early signs of HIV infection, oral herpes virus, and oral cancer that can be detected while sitting in the dental chair. Some of these diseases can be asymptomatic. Postponing your dental checkup could prevent the opportunity for early detection and treatment that could prolong or even save your life.

•Recent studies that have been reviewed by The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) have linked undiagnosed and untreated gum disease with a negative impact on patients’ heart health, diabetes, pregnancy, and other systemic health conditions.

•Chronic bad breath is usually due to conditions that may be easily prevented by regular oral hygiene appointments and consultation.

“With so many people looking for jobs or worried about their job security, it must be noted that having bad breath and discolored, damaged, or missing teeth are the kiss of death in today’s competitive job market,” explains Dr. Catrise Austin. “Your smile is the first thing employers, managers, and co-workers notice.”

Is the Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait Campaign just a way for dentists to make money during tough times? Absolutely not, says Dr. Austin. “If more people truly comprehended the connection between oral health with the rest of the body and its overall health, I believe they would prioritize their discretionary spending accordingly. Choosing between undergoing gum disease or cavity treatment versus buying a new cell phone, wireless computer pad, weekly professional hair and nail grooming, or taking expensive vacations would become a no-brainer.”

Here are some options to consider during your next dental visit:

•Dental professionals are primarily focused on prevention when their patients allow them to do so. In addition, many patients are not taking full advantage of the scope of services covered by their dental insurance. Ask your dentist what can be done to prevent cavities such as dental sealants for permanent molars as well as fluoride treatment for adults.

•Most dentists are very flexible when it comes to paying out-of-pocket expenses. Ask about alternative payment options like 0% interest financing, using a credit card, or working out an in-office payment plan.

•Talk to your dentist about prioritizing your treatment plan. Ask what needs to be done immediately and what can wait until you have more discretionary income.

Dr. Austin shares 5 tips that can give consumers a healthy white smile at home throughout the year:

1.Follow this smile workout at least twice daily:
Brush, Floss, Rinse, and Scrape (or Brush) your tongue to keep your gums and teeth healthy and your breath fresh.

2.Drink fluoridated tap water or use a fluoride mouthwash to fight cavities

3.Read the nutritional facts on packaged food/beverage labels:
Pay special attention to the hidden sugar in your food and drinks to avoid cavities.

4.Need to rejuvenate your dull smile? Try teeth whitening!
Consider refreshing your look using the Crest 3D White Collection (less than $100)! Brush for 2 minutes daily with the Oral B 3D Pulsar Toothbrush and Crest 3D White Vivid Toothpaste, then rinse daily with the Crest 3D White Multicare Whitening Mouthrinse, then add that dazzle and by using the Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips (the most effective of all Crest Whitestrips) once daily for 30 minutes (for 3-7 days). If you want to quickly whiten your smile try Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips ($54.99, 4 whitening strips) deliver a noticeably whiter smile in just 2 hours. Apply once for 2 hours and get noticeable results that last for three months. Each kit contains 4 treatments so you can keep your smile bright for a whole year.

5.Never say to yourself, “My teeth don’t hurt. I don’t need to see a dentist.”
You can’t have a great smile without the help of your dental team. Although there are many tools available to maintain your smile in the comforts of your own home, nothing replaces visiting your dental team every 6 months for your gum evaluation, professional cleaning, and cavity check.

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