BOISE — Delta Dental Plans Association (of which Delta Dental of Idaho is a member company) announced in a press release the release of the 2020 State of America’s Oral Health Report, a nationwide analysis of consumer opinions and behaviors relating to oral health. Based on findings from two surveys of 2,000+ American adults and parents of children 12 and under, the 2020 report shows Americans prioritized oral health as part of maintaining overall health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report comes at a time when Americans are more focused on healthcare than ever before.
- A majority of adults prioritized oral healthcare in 2020, with 74% visiting a dentist, despite facing widespread challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 90% of American adults believe that maintaining their oral health has been essential to protecting their overall health throughout the pandemic; 94% of parents believe maintaining their children’s oral health is essential to protecting their children’s overall health throughout the pandemic.
- Only around 1 in 2 Americans agree that oral health is closely linked to several medical conditions, including strokes and high blood pressure.
“Amid the challenges presented by the pandemic, Americans embraced oral health in 2020,” said James W. Hutchison, president & CEO, Delta Dental Plans Association. “As the research shows, the vast majority of people understand that oral health is critically important to overall health, but we still have a great opportunity to educate the public about the connection. The more Americans know about the impact of oral health on overall health, the more likely they are to approach their health holistically and continue the strong oral health habits that many adopted during the pandemic.”
Hutchison said the survey results indicate that people understand oral health is part of overall health. “We are in a new era of health care, and as American society reexamines its healthcare practices in the wake of the pandemic, the oral health community must redouble its efforts to demonstrate the importance of oral health, partner with communities, and expand access to care,” Hutchison said.
As showcased by the findings, Americans increasingly recognize the value of good oral health and are taking action to achieve it. Nearly all survey respondents plan to prioritize oral health, either by visiting the dentist, securing dental insurance if they are uninsured, or paying closer attention to their oral care habits in 2021.
Delta Dental’s Adult’s Oral Health & Wellness Survey was conducted Dec. 28, 2020, through Jan. 8, 2021, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000+ Americans ages 18+, with a margin of error of +/- 3% .
Delta Dental’s Children’s Oral Health & Wellness Survey was conducted during the same period, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000+ American parents with children 12 and under, with the same margin of error.