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Worst Teeth

Lubbock ranks last in bad teeth study

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — If you’re looking for cavity-free pearly whites, search anywhere but Lubbock. A new study in next month’s Men’s Health magazine says this West Texas city has the worst teeth of the 100 large U.S. cities examined. El Paso (No. 95), San Antonio (89) and Dallas (87) weren’t far ahead. The magazine said the best teeth could be found in Madison, Wis.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Raleigh, N.C.

The study used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the number of annual dentist visits, canceled appointments, regular flossers and households using flouride.

Some blame the high level of fluoride in Lubbock’s well water. Dentists say too much fluoride in the water may cause the enamel on teeth to become rough, leaving brown or white stains. Others say the high cost of dental care is to blame, leaving poor people without proper checkups or education.

Some people questioned the study.

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John Epperson, a longtime Lubbock dentist, said some people take excellent care of their teeth and some don’t.

"My expectation is people in Lubbock are like people around the country," he said.

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