SoHo dentist busts dental myths, urges patients to return for routine care


Dr. Martin Aronoff has been practicing dentistry since 1976.  He and his brothers, Michael and Robert, followed in the footsteps of their father, Capt. Samuel Aronoff, who was a dentist in a World War II mash unit.

Returning home to NYC, he opened Spring Street Dental 75 years ago which eventually moved to Greene St., but now business is suffering with dentistry taking a huge hit since the pandemic began.

Dr. Aronoff says patients shouldn't be afraid to see their dentist because dentists have always been intimately close to their patient's mouth and breath. Dentists continued to practice through health crises like the AIDS epidemic, SARS, swine flu, and bird flu.

These days, one of the biggest areas affected is patients who are canceling their appointments with the hygenist.

Dr. Aronoff says, although most people say, 'It's just a cleaning,'  getting your teeth cleaned is important because bacteria in your mouth can make existing health conditions worse. He points out that your oral health is linked to your systemic health.

Vera Graaf, a loyal patient since the late 1970s, highly recommends Greene Street Dental and staggering appointments so there's no one in the waiting area is just one of Greene Street Dental's many safety protocols.

For almost 15 years, Dr. Aronoff was a professor at NYU's School of Dentistry, teaching in clinics and lecturing. Now although business is down, he's staying optimistic and trying to work with his building's landlord to make sure his business survives.

Dr. Aronoff says, when it comes to caring for your teeth and gums, there are many misconceptions and myths.  Myth number one, more toothpaste means a cleaner mouth.  Most people use way too much toothpaste, the size of a green pea on your toothbrush is actually the correct amount.

Myth No. 2:  you should brush your teeth for two minutes.  What you should do is take your time and brush thoroughly but there is no magic number of minutes that's best.

Myth No. 3: brush in a circular motion. Concentrating your efforts at the gum line, then whisking your toothbrush up is best. This way food that may be lodged is brushed away.

Finally, Dr. Aronoff recommends using a soft bristle toothbrush and being gentle because being aggressive can lead to gum recession. Brushing up on your dental health just makes sense. So skip the candy and that sugary soda.. But don't skip your next visit to the dentist.

Christal Young

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