March 26, 2013 at 4:31 PM ET
If you live in Connecticut, you’ve made going to the dentist when you’re supposed to a priority. In the Constitution State, 83.7 percent of women make time to go to the dentist at least once a year. Women in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Iowa and Rhode Island also score high marks when it comes to dental hygiene.
Dental health is clearly connected to overall health, reports The Mayo Clinic. If left unchecked, the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease can enter the bloodstream and trigger the inflammation that is a hallmark of heart disease. Dental care is especially important for women with diabetes because of the increased risk of gum infections that can lead to tooth loss. It may be no coincidence that Mississippi women have both the worst rate of diabetes and the lowest percentage of women who see a dentist annually.
Here are the state rankings for women visiting the dentist: #1 has the best teeth; #50 needs to get to the dentist pronto. All numbers are percentages of women who are getting to the dentist at least once a year.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.