Acclaimed author and journalist Mary Otto to discuss her new book Teeth: the Story of Beauty, Inequality and the Struggle for Oral Health in America
Mary Otto is the author of a new book, Teeth: the Story of Beauty, Inequality and the Struggle for Oral Health in America (The New Press, March 2017). She has dedicated her career to highlighting the disparities in dental care for impoverished people.
Now working as an independent journalist and oral health topic leader for the Missouri School of Journalism-based Association of Health Care Journalists, Otto began writing about dental education at the Washington Post, where she covered social issues, including health care and poverty.
She made a name for herself in 2007 after writing stories about Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old Maryland boy receiving Medicaid benefits, who died from complications of an untreated dental infection. Otto’s reporting spurred Congressional hearings, a revamping of Maryland’s Medicaid dental system, and increased attention to oral health access for poor children nationwide.
After leaving the Post, Otto spent an academic year studying oral health at Harvard University as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow. In 2010, she received the coveted Gies Award presented by the American Dental Education Association for Outstanding Achievement for her contributions to oral health and dental education.