For millions of poor Americans without dental care, teeth are not only a physical ailment, but also a source of deep shame. The stigma is so deep that a recent poll reported that one out of three low-income adults avoids smiling. And the barriers to dental care don’t discriminate by age. Thirty-five million poor children are entitled to federal dental benefits, but more than half go without care. The effects are more than psychological. Untreated oral conditions can lead to fatalities in children and adults. Kojo speaks with a former Washington Post journalist who has traced dental care disparities region and nationwide.


  • Mary Otto Author, "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America"; @mottomatic

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