The survey found that the majority of adults prioritized oral healthcare in 2020, with 74% visiting a dentist, despite facing widespread challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delta Dental Plans Association released 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.
The survey found that the majority of adults prioritized oral healthcare in 2020, with 74% visiting a dentist, despite facing widespread challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, 90% of American adults believe that maintaining their oral health has been essential to protecting their overall health throughout the pandemic; while 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 and 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.
“The insights from this report will act as a catalyst to ensure that the broader healthcare conversation includes oral health, which is a vital part of physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. We are in a new era of healthcare, 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.”
As showcased by the findings, 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.