A beautiful smile certainly speaks for you. One of the first things that people will notice about you is your smile. A recent study even revealed that those with a beautiful smile are perceived as more successful, intelligent, interesting, wealthy, attractive and popular with the opposite sex. As many people are looking for new jobs or to advance in their current job in this economy, a clean and confident smile can certainly make a difference and can truly help you live your best life.

Dr. Catrise Austin, an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) member and author of the soon to be released book "5 Steps to an A-List Smile" (Morgan James Publishing) says "Oftentimes people tend to underestimate the importance of dental health and the power of a smile. Some of my clients and people I meet in public feel that they can take their smiles in their own hands and avoid going to the dentist. This is a terrible mistake and can cost you not only your smile, but your overall health and quality of life". As a result, Dr. Austin has come up with her 'Top 10 List of Common Dental Mistakes' that we all should avoid to maintain a healthy and attractive smile.

Dr. Austin's Top 10 List of Common Dental Mistakes to avoid in 2009 are:

10. Sticking with a dentist/dental office that you don't enjoy visiting twice a year
9. Trying home remedies such as attempting to whiten your own teeth with "real" bleach or using crazy clue to mend broken dentures, fillings, and teeth.
8. Not getting enough or any fluoride in your system to fight cavities
7. Not paying attention to the hidden sugar in your food and drinks
6. Using a hard or medium bristled toothbrush in hopes of getting better cleaning results
5. Trying to mask bad breath with gum, mints, or tongue strips
4. Not brushing your teeth before you go to bed
3. Dare think that you can skip flossing everyday
2. Avoid dental treatment because your dental insurance company told you that you couldn't get it done because of THEIR rules and policies.
1. Saying to yourself, "My teeth are fine. I don't need to see a dentist".

Dr. Austin recommends brushing 2-3 times a day with a soft bristled or electric toothbrush to fight bacteria and preserve the enamel on your tooth. She advises that flossing is equally as important as brushing and both must be done at home regularly between dental visits. Visiting a dental hygienist and dentist team, every six months or as scheduled, is vital in maintaining cavity free teeth and gums. In addition to daily care and visiting a dentist-hygienist dental team, total oral health requires proper nutritional habits. The truth is, early gum disease and beginner cavities are silent and painless. If left untreated, gum disease and cavities can lead to bad breath, tooth loss, and other health problems. Many dental offices today are comfortable and even have spa like amenities to make the visit more pleasant than once viewed in the past. Finding the right dental team that is not only skilled, but care about your health is critical. Dr. Austin pleads with all to avoid home remedies that can be harmful to your health. She recommends asking someone you trust for a recommendation for a dentist if you don't have or like your current dental home.

Take charge of your dental health today. This is the year of CHANGE. If you've been guilty of putting off your next dental exam and professional cleaning, consider visiting your dentist team this New Year.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Catrise Austin is a Cosmetic Dentist practicing at VIP Smiles located at 119 W. 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. Celebrating a milestone 10 years in business, she has an impressive loyal following, including some of the warmest smiles in the entertainment, sports, and fashion industry. She is currently a spokesperson for Aquafresh White Trays and spreads her message of good oral health by making national radio, television, and public speaking appearances. For more information about cosmetic dentistry, oral hygiene, or to book Dr. Austin call 212-262-6054.