- Published on Tuesday, 05 February 2013 19:29
- Written by Jackie Jones, BlackAmericaWeb.com
Have a dental question for the doctor? Text it to "646464" (OHOHOH) during the TJMS.
Catrise Austin has been called the dentist to the stars, counting Toni Braxton, Anthony Anderson, Wendy Williams and Paula Abdul among her patients, and winning accolades for her celebrity and concierge service.
But Austin, author of a new book, “5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile,” wants the average person to be educated about the importance of good dental health, as well as a winning grin.
Austin, who also is a highly sought-after dentistry expert and motivational speaker, created an educational program and dental consumer self-help guide and was the first dentist in the country to also offer HIV testing to patients during routine dental checkups.
Her attention to health issues beyond dentistry is warranted.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, oral health is related to other conditions, including stroke, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and certain forms of cancer. Sometimes a dentist can detect a problem during a routine checkup before the symptoms become apparent to you or your physician.
The academy reported that even though approximately three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease – from mild cases of gingivitis, to the more severe form known as periodontitis - only about three percent seek treatment for their gum disease.
Forty-eight percent of lower-income Americans (i.e., those who report household incomes of less than $20,000), according to one study, said they had not seen a dentist in the previous year. Further, one in eight Americans reports having difficulty with normal daily activities because of problems with his or her mouth, teeth and gums, according to the study, and half of Americans said they were currently experiencing one or more oral health conditions.
Community clinics and dental schools often offer low-cost options for those who put off going to the dentist because they lack health insurance. The academy also offers a free online risk assessment test.
“I work tirelessly, tirelessly to get information out…there is connection with your dental health and your overall health and my message and my passion is to get you guys to understand that and to know why it’s so important to go to the dentist,” Austin said when she was honored in 2010 with a BOSS Network award at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in New York.
“And while it’s sexy to work with the entertainment industry,” Austin said, “my passion is to let you guys know that I am here for you.”
What can I do to whiten my teeth?
There are 2 ways to whiten your teeth. You can either have your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist in the office or you can purchase take home whitening at most grocery stores or pharmacies in the toothpaste isle and whiten more affordably at home. Your dentist may offer a whitening option that is stronger and more effective. In office whitening may range from $500-$700. My favorite over the counter whitening system is The Crest 3D White Whitestrips. Crest 3D White has a variety of options, ranging from 30 minute to two hour treatments depending on your needs cost under $60.
Why are "gaps" frowned upon in USA?
Great question! Well if you’ve seen my picture, you’d know that I have a gap between my 2 front teeth and I’m told constantly that I have a nice smile. You actually don’t need to have a perfect smile to be sexy! I think some of the sexiest and most charismatic people have gap from Madonna, Michael Strahan, D’Angelo, Lauren Hutton, Natalie Cole to name a few. I think that gaps have become acceptable in USA as long as the teeth are not crooked, yellow, protrude, or there are not multiple gaps between the teeth.
What's the name of the tooth brush?
For the most effective manual toothbrush, pick up the Oral –B Pro Health All-In-One Toothbrush. It has unique CrissCross and Power Tip bristles that are angled to remove up to 99% of plaque in hard to reach areas. It’s really gentle on the enamel and gums too!
What age would you recommend getting Invisalign?
By age 12 or 13, all of the baby teeth should be gone and all of the permanent teeth should be erupted and ready for Invisalign if needed. Each child is different so consult with your dentist to see if your child is ready. Invisalign actually has a product called “Invisalign Teen” which straightens teeth with a series of clear, removable aligners. I like this option for teens (if they have the discipline to wear the aligner and not lose them) because they can continue brushing and flossing normally and end up with healthier teeth and gums at the end of treatment.
How much do veneers normally cost?
Porcelain veneers, are a 2 visit procedure in which the porcelain veneers are custom made by a laboratory and can range from $1000-$2000 each. Componeers are 1 visit procedure in which pre-made veneers are placed on the teeth for an instant makeover. Componeer veneers cost $550 tooth.
What does it mean when you brush your teeth and your gums bleed?
Bleeding gums is the #1 sign that you may have mild, moderate, or severe gum disease. Visit your dentist immediately to get a gum evaluation and professional cleaning. Based on the severity of your condition, you may need a deep cleaning, antibiotics for the gums, or gum surgery if the infection is severe.
Does Dr. Austin come to Philadelphia? If so, when?
Unfotunately, I am only licensed in the States of New York, New Jersey, and California. But have patients that travel to New York from Philadelphia all the time.
What is the name of toothpaste to buy?
On the TJMS, I spoke about using the Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health line of products. For the ultimate protection from cavities, gingivitis, sensitivity, and bad breath try the Crest Pro-Health Healthy Fresh Toothpaste. It will be available in stores February 14th and will cost $4.25-$4.75.
Is that Crest Pro-Health line good for the kids?
Yes! Crest Pro-Health also has a special toothpaste for kids as well called Crest Pro-Health For Me Fluoride Anticavity Toothpaste
Is a battery tooth brush better then a manual toothbrush?
Battery toothbrushes can definitely give you an advantage if you are not effectively brushing with a manual toothbrush
What is your opinion on Invisalign braces alternative?
I personally love and recommend Invisalign and its competing product Clear Correct as an option to traditional metal braces for those who are a candidate. They discretely move your teeth without many people noticing, you can take them out to effectively clean your teeth, you can eat anything you want without the embarrassment of getting food caught between your teeth, and they are affordable.
Can the Dentist tell me if She knows a great dentist in Indianapolis?
I don’t have any personal recommendations in Indiana, BUT if you are looking to support great African American dentists across the nation, visit The National Dental Associations website<http://www.ndaonline.org/> and search for a dentist.
What are the benefits of using braces? What age do you think is the best for someone to get them?
The #1 benefit of getting braces is of course having a better looking smile. The other benefits however can include having better access to clean your teeth better with better alignment and being able to chew food better with better alignment. For adults, it’s never too late to get braces no matter how old you are. For children, the recommendation can vary depending on how the bones are forming and teeth are erupting. The best time to consider braces is after age 12, after all of the baby teeth have erupted. Your dentist may recommend treatment for your child earlier, to prevent or correct development problems with the teeth early.
I have a question about the home teeth whitening kits. Are they any good to invest in?
Absolutely, as long as you select a reputable brand like Crest 3D White Whitestrips which are not only affordable, but actually work to give you results similar to the treatments that your dentist uses in the office. The investment for at home whitening is less than $60 and well worth it!
What about flouride for adults, is it beneficial?
Great question! Yes, I not only recommend fluoride for my child patients to prevent cavities but also to my adult patients who have a high cavity rate or engage in habits that can weaken the teeth like eating or drinking high sugary products or not brushing properly to remove the bacterial plaque that causes cavities for extra protection. I also recommend it to people who primarily drink bottled water as opposed to local city water (which has fluoride in it) to get their dose of fluoride to protect their teeth.
I have terrible breath and geographic tongue, any help?
The first step to manage bad breath is to visit your dentist immediately! 90% of bad breath come from hidden bacterial in you mouth, either below the gums or in the crevices of your tongue. Your dentist can identify areas of infection and hidden bacteria by doing a thorough gum evaluation and with x-rays. If caught early, the treatment to cure bad breath can be a simple as a professional teeth cleaning by your dentist. We have the tools to remove the bacteria that may be stuck on the teeth you your toothbrush and floss can’t remove. At home, to maintain fresh breath your job is to brush 2-3 times daily, floss 2-3 times daily to prevent bacteria from hiding under gums, use a mouth rinse to kill bad breath germs like Crest Pro-Health Multi- Protection Rinse, and clean the tongue. On the show I mentioned scraping (or brushing) the tongue as a part of my smile workout program. The tongue holds a lot of hidden bacteria in its crevices which causes bad breath. Brush or use a tongue scraper daily to remove that plaque. I have a great demonstration of this in my book “5 Steps to The Hollywood A-List Smile”.
What can be done to prevent and correct gum recession?
There are three things that you can do to prevent gum recession. First you have to properly and regularly brush and floss to keep your teeth free of the soft plaque and hard tarter that causes the gums to move away from the crown of the teeth and expose the roots of your teeth. Second, choosing the proper toothbrush will save your gums from recession as well. When choosing a manual toothbrush, make sure that the bristles of the brush are SOFT only! Medium and hard bristled toothbrushes are too hard for the gums and your tooth’s enamel and wears both away over time. Third, make sure that you are not brushing too hard. The extra force can wear away the gums. This being said, I highly recommend electric toothbrushes. I sell the Oral-B with the SmartGuide (which is a little computer that tells you if you are brush long enough and too hard) to my patients and they LOVE IT!
Is peroxide good for your teeth?
Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound that breaks down into water and oxygen upon contact with the teeth. The release of oxygen from hydrogen peroxide causes a foaming action which makes it a very effective cleaner. It is actually the active ingredient all of the teeth whitening gels on the market to aid in teeth whitening. As a mouth rinse, The FDA has approved 3% solutions of hydrogen peroxide for use as a mouthwash. Most sources advise to use it only for a short time, such as part of a treatment of a mouth infection.
I wear dentures. What's good to keep them clean?
I want you to take care of your dentures the same as you would your natural teeth. The key is to keep the dentures clean and bacteria free so that you can get long use out of them. Purchase a specialized denture toothbrush. At least once daily, gently brush your dentures using a denture specialized denture toothpaste remove food, plaque and other deposits. Using these special cleaning tools can avoid damage to your dentures. In addition, you also want to soak your dentures overnight. Fixodent makes denture cleansers that you can purchase to soak your dentures to kill bacteria and remove stains.
What are symptoms of gum disease?
Signs and symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, tender gums, gums that are red (the gums should be pink), and bone loss which causes your teeth to become loose. Bad breath is also a result of gum disease.
I use the Oral b Electric. What brush do you suggest?
Perfect choice….You’re using the exact toothbrush that I recommend and sell to my patients in my New York dental office! I love the Oral-B line of toothbrushes. The Oral-B that I recommend in my office has Floss Action bristles that clean deep between the teeth. The best feature is the SmartGuide computer display with 5 brushing modes (Daily Clean mode, Deep Clean mode, Sensitive Mode, Whitening mode, and a Massage mode) and it has a cool warning light to let you know if you are brushing too hard along with a timer to make sure you brush a full 2 minutes.
What is best option for me? I have a porcelain cap in the front of mouth over the years my teeth are not as white as they were and the crown is whiter than my teeth. Should I have my dentist whiten my teeth for 300.00 or should I replace my 27-year-old crown for a shade closer to current shade of my teeth?
If you are happy with the color your porcelain cap and it’s overall in good shape, I would indeed just consider investing in whitening your teeth to match the crown. Have your dentist assess the color difference between your natural teeth and the crown in question. As long as your teeth don’t have the potential to whiten to a color that is whiter than the crown then I’d rather see you reap the benefits of having an overall whiter smile then changing the crown to a darker color to match the current color of your teeth. I’d imagine that the crown may cost you
I have had two teeth extracted due to grinding my teeth. Any suggestions?
First and foremost I’d love to see you replace your missing teeth so that you can avoid your teeth from shifting and have a complete bite again. Once you’ve replaced your teeth, I want you to consider wearing a custom made night guard to protect your teeth. There are 3 options for replacing your 2 missing teeth: A removable partial denture, a bridge that is permanently glued to the teeth surrounding the 2 missing teeth, or the best and most natural feeling option for replacing the teeth are dental implants. I have great step by step pictures of the dental implant process in my book 5 Steps To The Hollywood A-List Smile.