7 Important Statistics About Oral Health

Published on October 03, 2016 | Dental Tips

If you’ve ever wondered about the state of oral health across the nation or around the globe, this data offers a smart way to measure up.

Learn more about dental trends and oral health with these seven statistics.

Oral Health Is Critical for Most Adults

In a recent study from the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, the majority of American adults reported that they valued good oral health highly. In fact, an impressive 95 percent considered their oral health critical to their overall well-being. Over 80 percent believed having a healthy, white smile is key to feeling good and getting ahead at work and in life.

The Average Person Maintains a Simple Oral Health Routine

As high as they rank oral health, most adults keep up a relatively simple oral health routine. In the United Kingdom, 42 percent of adults rely on only a toothbrush and toothpaste for their daily routine. Less than a third use mouthwash, and less than a quarter incorporate dental floss into their routines.

Most People Plan to Visit the Dentist Regularly

Given the high priority that most people give to their oral health, you probably aren’t surprised to learn that about 85 percent of adults prefer to visit the dentist for cleanings and preventive services twice a year. Just over 75 percent plan to visit within the next year, but just under 40 percent actually did.

Dental Care Costs Are on the Rise

While around a quarter of people reported a fear of the dentist as their reason for not visiting, nearly 60 percent didn’t go to the dentist due to the high costs. The costs of dental care are on the rise, and the price of many dental procedures has increased more quickly than the overall cost of medical care. Dental benefits often cover cleanings and preventive services, but they don’t always make more advanced procedures more affordable.

Over Half of Americans Have Dental Insurance

Nearly 80 percent of adults consider dental benefits important, but closer to 64 percent of Americans actually have dental insurance . Those with dental benefits tend to have better oral health, as fewer older adults with insurance have lost all their teeth and more patients of all ages are more likely to practice regular brushing and flossing.

Tooth Decay Has Decreased Over Time

In addition to a regular dental care routine, access to fluoridated water is one of the biggest contributors to good oral health. It has led to a 30 to 50 percent decrease in tooth decay since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced this effort.

Sensitive Teeth Aren’t Uncommon

If you have sensitive teeth, you aren’t alone. About 12 percent of people report having sensitive teeth . This happens when tooth enamel wears away, and for many people, the highest levels of pain result from eating cold, hot, or sweet foods.

Overall, most adults highly value their oral health and have good intentions to support their teeth and gums with regular dentist visits. How do you measure up against these statistics?

Image via Flickr by freeloosedirt

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