Get to know your dentist better; wear mouth jewelry

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For every parent appalled by the thought of their child getting a tongue piercing, the results of a recent study in Israel with come as welcome support for their argument against. Dr. Liran Levin of Tel Aviv University discovered that 15-20% of young people surveyed are at increased risk for tooth fractures and gum disease.

File this as news of the obvious; tapping a metal tongue ball against your teeth might cause tooth fracture. Duh. The study concluded that, while severe periodontal damage in teens is normally very low, those with mouth piercings can suffer premature loss of their front teeth and dangerous gum infection.

For those to whom this and other dental warnings have come too late, another recent story might be glad tidings. The Japanese town of Fukuoka has launched a false teeth recycling program. Around $28 of precious metals, including gold and palladium, is used in the construction of dentures. These metals are extracted, and the proceeds are donated to UNICEF Japan and other charities.

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