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Dental Care Statistics: Oral Health and Hygiene Numbers

By Dr. Dan Whiting on July 26, 2018

Smiling in the mirrorGood dental care is crucial for a person’s overall wellness. That’s why our Harrisonburg, VA dental practice offers general dentistry, preventative care, and the latest cosmetic and restorative procedures. We want you to feel confident about the appearance of your smile as well as your health.

To help you understand why professional dental care is important, we’ve compiled a few important statistics about oral health. These numbers will help reinforce the importance of good oral hygiene as well as the need for regular visits with a dentist.

The Importance of Dental Health to Average Americans

The vast majority of Americans care about their dental health, according to findings from the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute. Their study found that 95 percent of Americans considered dental health a crucial part of overall health and wellness. Additionally, 80 percent of respondents believed that a healthy, good-looking smile was a key to happiness and having a fulfilling life and career.

Americans and Dental Visits

Since dental health is so important, it’s maybe no surprise that a lot of Americans find dental visits important. About 85 percent of adults think seeing their dentist twice a year is crucial for their dental health; 75 percent of adults even plan to see their dentist within the next year.

The actual numbers regarding visits can differ, however. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 64 percent of adults aged 18-64 visiting their dentist within the last year; 62.7 percent of adults 65 and older saw their dentist in the last year.

Numbers on Brushing Teeth

Good oral hygiene starts with brushing your teeth, and the majority of Americans are pretty good about it. A Delta Dental study found that 7 in 10 Americans brush their teeth at least twice a day. They typically brush before bedtime and when they wake up in the morning, with each bout of brushing lasting about 1 minute 52 seconds. For the record, the American Dental Association recommends that people brush at least twice a day, and that brushing your teeth should take about 2 minutes.

Numbers on Flossing Teeth

Flossing is just as essential as flossing for a healthy smile, but people don’t floss as much as they should. The same Delta Dental study found that only 4 in 10 Americans floss their teeth at least once a day. Around 20 percent of Americans don’t floss their teeth at all. Ideally, you should be flossing your teeth at least once a day.

Tooth Decay Statistics

Almost everyone experiences a cavity at some point in their life, and we really mean almost everyone. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics found that 91 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 were affected by cavities. The number jumps to 96 percent for people age 65 and older.

Periodontal Disease Statistics

Gum disease is almost as common as tooth decay. In a separate study, the CDC found that 47.2 percent of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease; that’s approximately 64.7 million people. Gum disease also affects about 70.1 percent of people age 65 and older.

Sensitive Teeth Statistics

Sensitive teeth is a common problem among many people, and sometimes an early sign of tooth decay and gum disease. It’s estimated that 12 percent of the population experiences significant tooth sensitivity. Sometimes the tooth sensitivity isn’t associated with any other sort of dental health problem.

Contact Smiles for Life

If you would like to learn more abut treating tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental health problems, be sure to contact an experienced dentist. Our team is here to help you smile with renewed confidence and improved dental health.

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