New Yorkers not taking care of teeth: Health Dept.
Pearly whites are on the decline in the city.
Nearly 60% of adults are at risk of developing oral health problems, according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Health, which also showed that more than a third of Gotham's 8-year-olds have an untreated cavity.
The report blamed sugary drinks as a main contributor to the problem, just weeks after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a plan to put a limit on the size of sodas and juices that are sold in the city.
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said the statistics are troubling because oral health problems are easily preventable.
"Brush twice daily with a toothpaste containing fluoride, floss daily, and drink fluoridated NYC tap water to keep your gums healthy and your teeth cavity-free," he said in a statement.
Although the message may seem obvious to some, Mark S. Wolff, an associate dean at NYU's College of Dentistry, said New Yorkers, overall, aren't doing enough to take care of their teeth. He encouraged families that cannot afford dental care to seek out programs, such as one at NYU, that offer cheap checkups.
"When we talk about children with tooth decay, there really is no excuse in New York City," he said.
Wolff said he agreed with the city's suggestion to cut down drinks with sugar to curb dental problems.
"There is a direct correlation between how much sugar drinks they have and how much decay they have," he said.