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Families and individuals are being encouraged to visit their dentist to get an update on their oral health, as part of National Dental Hygiene Month, celebrated in October.
Dr Catrise Austin, who practices in New York City, recommends that patients get their teeth cleaned every six months as part of their regular exam.
She emphasizes that preventative care is one of the best ways to maintain dental health and ensure you have a beautiful smile.
Sometimes, patients may not even recognize that they have particular dental problems until they see a professional, Austin says.
"Don't ignore the warning signs of gum disease. Swollen or tender gums, gums that bleed with brushing and recurring bad breath are all key signs of gum disease," she explains.
Regular brushing and flossing can help reduce the chances of developing gum disease, as can eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Austin recommends consuming foods that contain calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, magnesium and zinc for optimum dental health.
The milder form of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis may evolve into a more serious condition known as periodontitis.
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