5 Intriguing Facts About Dental Health in America


Around the world, Americans have a reputation for having beautiful teeth. A major contributor to the United States’ obsession with obtaining the perfect smile is that there is significant societal stigma against poor oral hygiene. In fact, cosmetic dentistry represents the largest nonsurgical beauty industry after makeup. America is a huge country, with massive disparity in wealth, access, and values, so what is the reality of dental health in America? These 5 dental health facts can shed some light.

5 Dental Health Facts:

    1. Only 52% of adults visit the dentist as recommended. (source) And 1 in 5 reported that they had not visited the dentist in years. Parents reported doing better for their children, with 65% of kids having a visit to the dentist every 6 months.
    1. National dental expenditures reached $162 billion in 2021. (source) The American Dental Association reported that this was an increase of 11% from the previous year. Additionally, government spending on dental care increased 25% from 2020 to 2021.
    1. 25.9% of adults aged 20-44 and 13.2% of children aged 5-19 were found to have untreated dental cavities. (source) That figure slightly declines with age – 25.3% of adults aged 45-64 and 20.2% of adults aged 65 or over had untreated dental caries.
    1. New Hampshire was found to be the state where people are most likely to have discolored teeth. (source) The study used an index which incorporated factors such as coffee shops per 100,000 people, teahouses per 100,000 people, gallons of wine consumed annually per capita, percent of population who smoke cigarettes, and “how to whiten teeth” search trends on Google.
    1. Nearly half (46%) of U.S. adults aged 30 or older show signs of gum disease. (source) This comes from a report by the World Health Organization, which also found that untreated cavities affect over 2 billion people worldwide. Nearly half of the world’s population has untreated oral diseases, meaning that these diseases affect more people than mental disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer combined.

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