85% of Americans Value Their Oral Health

Dentistry Today


Your patients care more about their oral health than you probably think they do. According to a national survey from Delta Dental, 85% of adults in the United States said their oral health is important to them. Only 71% said that diet and nutrition were important, while 71% also said their relationships with friends were important, and 71% indicated their weight was important. Plus, 67% said good oral health makes them feel confident daily. 

“There is a growing trend for Americans to correlate oral health with overall health and well-being,” said Bill Kohn, DDS, chair of the Delta Dental Plans Association Dental Science Committee. “For example, mouth conditions can be associated with many important and serious systemic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers.”

Also, 88% of the survey’s respondents said they were dedicated to the well-being of their mouth, teeth, and gums. Of course, Kohn reminds dentists and patients alike that brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and regular dental checkups are basic steps for preventive oral healthcare.

“Smiles play an important role in health and overall daily life, including social well-being,” said Jennifer Elliott, chief marketing officer for the Delta Dental Plans Association. “The Delta Dental national survey illuminates that healthy smiles are important to our nation, including impacting Americans’ confidence.”

However, Delta Dental reports, Americans are thinking about their future smiles, and many of them are worried. Nearly half (48%) said they are concerned they will not have an attractive smile as they age. And while 25% are extremely satisfied with their oral health, only 15% would rate it as excellent, leaving most American adults with room for improvement.  

Delta Dental conducted the Adult’s Oral Health & Well-Being Survey between December 13 and December 28, 2017, among 1,008 nationally representative Americans age 18 and older, with a margin of error of ±3.1%.

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