Dental Care Statistics: Numbers About Smiles

By John Rink DDS on September 15, 2018

A smile symbolAt the Charleston Center for Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry, we believe in the importance of general dentistry and preventative dental care. By addressing dental problems early, we can avoid serious health issues before they arise. This helps our patients smile with renewed confidence and a genuine sense of pride. Dr. John Rink’s focus on these aspects of dental health explain his reputation among the people of Charleston, SC.

The team at our practice would like to take a moment to consider some telling statistics about dental care and dental wellness. This should give you some indication about the importance of dentistry in people’s lives and why visiting the dentist is so essential.

The Importance of Dental Health to Americans

According to a study by the American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute, 95 percent of respondents said that their oral health was crucial for their general wellness. In addition, 80 percent of respondents said that a clean and healthy smile enhanced their mood and likely played a role in their career success.

Anxiety Over Dental Health

The numbers on the importance of dental health are mirrored in some findings about dental anxiety in the United States. According to the ADA Health Policy Institute, 23 percent of adults are embarrassed by the condition of their teeth and gums. Around 1 in 4 Americans avoid smiling because they feel self-conscious about their smile, and 1 in 5 Americans experience anxiety due to the condition of their mouth.

Statistics on Tooth Decay

Numbers from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Center for Health Statistics found that 91 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have experienced at least one cavity; by the age of 65, 96 percent of Americans have dealt with at least one cavity.

Statistics on Gum Disease

A CDC study looking at data from 2009-2010 suggests gum/periodontal disease is just as big an issue at tooth decay. An estimated 47.2 percent adults suffered from some form of gum disease during their lives. That’s roughly 64.7 million Americans. Once people hit age 65 and older, the prevalence of gum disease raises to 70.1 percent.

The Numbers on Brushing Teeth

According to a study from Delta Dental, 7 in 10 Americans claim to brush their teeth twice a day. On average, American brush their teeth for about 1 minute and 52 seconds. For some perspective, the ADA recommends that people brush their teeth for 2 minutes, so Americans are falling just short on getting their mouths fully cleaned.

The Numbers on Flossing Teeth

According to a Delta Dental study, only 4 in 10 Americans floss their teeth at least once a day, which is much lower than the rate of Americans brushing their teeth. Additionally, 20 percent of Americans do not brush their teeth at all. The ADA recommends that people floss once a day to remove plaque between the teeth that cannot be accessed by a toothbrush.

Reasons for Missing Dental Visits

The ADA Health Policy Institute found that despite the importance of dental health and prevalence of dental problems, people still miss regular dental visits. The top five reasons for missing or failing to schedule dental visits were:

  • The cost of dental care (59 percent)
  • Fear of the dentist (22 percent)
  • Inconvenient timing/location (19 percent)
  • Difficulty finding a dentist (15 percent)
  • Total loss of original teeth (12 percent)

Learn More About Dental Care

To discuss your dental health needs with a skilled professional, be sure to contact Dr. John Rink. The team at the Charleston Center for Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry is here to help you. You can reach our office by phone at (843) 212-0674.

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