3 out of 4 stars
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In many ways, I still haven't matured from my five-year-old self. For instance, I am on a seemingly never-ending quest for knowledge, always asking, "But why" or "How" or "What about?" As a result, I am quite overjoyed that I spotted The Little Book of Dental Questions: (for scaredycats and others) by Marcia Mawae.
A dental hygienist, Ms. Mawae filled her book with interesting questions and answers, many of them pertaining to things that we've all wondered about at one time or another. One such query was, "What is the difference between plaque and tartar?" The author also answered questions based on the personal worries of patients, such as "What is this brown spot on my tooth?"
There are no chapter headings, but the tome seems to follow a logical pattern, starting with general dental questions, which are then followed by personal concerns. The questions are referenced by page number in the table of contents, so it's easy to find a particular inquiry. I prefer the section pertaining to facts, and my favorite piece of advice is to always close the toilet lid before flushing since bacteria from the commode can travel as far as 10 feet, thereby ending up on one's toothbrush or anything else within that range. I also really like the question about what to do when one has holes in one's mouth from missing teeth. About two years ago, I had two teeth pulled and may need a third one extracted soon, so I'm still trying to figure out how best to have those pockets filled. Thanks to Ms. Mawae, I now have plenty of food for thought. One of my favorite things in the book is the author's recommendation that the reader check with their personal dentist on specific problems, as this book wasn't written to answer any and all questions and issues that may arise in one's dental experience. Additionally, I feel that the author's emphasis on one's dental condition having an effect on one's overall health is a helpful point. I also like that Ms. Mawae explains the dental jargon that she uses, keeping laypersons from getting confused. At the end of the book is a glossary, which is a handy tool as well.
The information was given in a very factual tone, yet I never felt as if Marcia was ordering me around or preaching at me. One other thing that I found out in the introduction was that the author is a Christian. Each answer was followed by an appropriate Bible verse - for instance, "My Christian faith tells me, 'Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,'" followed a section on how to properly brush one's teeth - and I really liked the tie-in. I didn't feel like these inclusions would annoy readers who are not Christians either.
Unfortunately, The Little Book of Dental Questions needs another round of editing. While none of the grammatical errors are egregious, there are still too many for a book of its length. The biggest problems are singular words that should be plural and extra words. In addition, there is one instance of awkward phrasing. Due to the typographical errors, I must give this book 3 out of 4 stars.
Overall, I am very pleased with this book and find that it added to my storehouse of knowledge. If I ever go on Jeopardy and am faced with a category based on dental facts, I'll have Ms. Mawae to thank when I run the board. In addition to potential game show contestants, I highly recommend this book for people who are considering dentistry as a profession, patients who are frightened by visits to dentists, and parents of young children who are concerned about dental hygiene.
TheLittleBook of Dental Questions
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