Your teeth can literally fall out of your head

From “Chart: If you don’t go to the dentist, your teeth will literally fall out of your head” BY CHRISTOPHER INGRAHAM:

Good dental care is important. Studies have shown that tooth problems are significant factors in school absence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 164 million work hours are lost each year to dental issues. Dental-related emergency department visits are on the rise in the United States, contributing to health-care cost increases.

But if you’re shallow and vain, like me, there’s a far more compelling reason to keep those twice-yearly dental appointments: if you don’t, your teeth will literally fall out of your head.

On Thursday, Gallup released state-by-state numbers on frequency of dental visits in the United States. “For the third year in a row, Connecticut residents were the most likely [74.9%] to say they visited a dentist in the last 12 months,” Gallup writes. “Just over half of the residents in Mississippi say the same, coming in last for dental care among the 50 states.” If you’re familiar with the general geography of health and well-being in the United States, the map isn’t terribly surprising — states in New England and the Northern Plains had the highest rates of recent dental visits, while the lowest rates were found in, you guessed it, the south.

Read on.