“The Story in our smiles” Audio story

The teeth in our mouths seem so simple and straightforward until they’re in trouble. Then we’re in trouble. Dental health is directly tied to overall health. And try finding a good job when you’re missing teeth or doing a good job when your head’s in pain. And yet, we treat dental care as kind of a luxury.

Lots of insurance doesn’t cover it. A third of Americans can hardly get access to it. And our dentists like doing cosmetics. This hour On Point: the story our teeth tell about wealth, poverty, beauty and American health care. — Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Mary Otto,  author of the book, “Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America.” Former reporter for the Washington Post, where she covered social issues including healthcare and poverty. Oral health topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists. (@mottomatic)

Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore health commissioner. Emergency physician. (@DrLeanaWen)