October is National Dental Hygiene Month: New York City Celebrity Dentist and Author Dr. Catrise Austin Says, Despite the Economy, 'Oral Healthcare Can't Wait™'

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New York City Celebrity Dentist and Author Dr. Catrise Austin is conducting a local awareness campaign during October's National Dental Hygiene Month to warn consumers about the risks of putting off dental checkups and treatment. Dr. Austin encourages better oral hygiene habits at home daily as well as bi-yearly dental visits to help consumers maintain healthy mouths and live life with more confidence and with a smile.

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.

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 everydayhealth.com, 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.

“Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait is a very important national initiative with the ultimate goal of sustaining and improving oral health in America,” explained Dr. Catrise Austin. “I’m very proud to do my part and spread the message with my New York City local community.” Dr. Austin will be kicking off her local Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait campaign in honor of October’s National Dental Hygiene Month with a series of free dental health lectures for the public (all ages welcome) where Dr. Austin will be discussing some of the top dental issues that our community should be concerned with such as the importance of prevention, free and low cost access to dental care, what dental products are safe and work best, and do-it yourself tips to maintain optimum oral health at home between dental visits.

Dr. Catrise Austin will lecturing for free, providing Q & A's, giving away valuable prizes, and signing copies of her book 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile in New York City on the following dates:

Monday October 10th, 2011 6-8 PM (Columbus Day): Hue Man Bookstore, Harlem
Saturday October 22nd, 2011 1PM: New York Public Library 96th Street Branch

About Dr. Catrise Austin:

As the first private practice dentist in the nation certified to offer HIV testing to patients while in the dental chair, Dr. Catrise Lynette Austin is a trailblazing expert in the field of dentistry. She is an author, professional speaker, entrepreneur, and founder of VIP Smiles-a modern dental practice in New York City. Notable celebrities such as X-Factor Judge Paula Abdul; Dancing With The Stars dancers Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy; Apprentice Diva Omarosa; HBO’s Entourage Actor Rex Lee; Songstress Toni Braxton; TV talk show host Wendy Williams; Food Network Chef Sunny Anderson; Dallas Cowboy tight end Martellus Bennett, 2010 Olympic gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor, and Grammy Award-winning rapper/actor/author Common (to name a few) have all placed their teeth in her capable hands. Austin is an award-winning dentist and columnist who has solidified her reputation in her field with national radio as well as national TV appearances on The Discovery Health Channel, Today Show, and Good Morning America, among others. Dr. Austin is available for local and national interviews, as well as speaking engagements on dental health, HIV testing in the dental office, entrepreneurship, careers in dentistry, and improving your image with your smile. For more information about dental health or for booking information contact Dr. Catrise Austin at 212-262-6054 or visit http://www.vipsmiles.com

About the Dental Trade Alliance:

The Dental Trade Alliance is an association of companies that provide dental equipment, supplies, materials, and services to dentists and other oral care professionals. Its member companies are distributors, dental laboratories, and manufacturers located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. By providing the best equipment, materials, and services to dentists and oral care professionals, they are partners in improving the oral health of everyone. For more information, visit http://www.dentaltradealliance.org

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