Delta Dental released its annual oral health and wellness report, showing that Gen Z had different oral health opinions and behaviors.

Delta Dental released its 2023 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report, a nationwide analysis of consumer opinions and behaviors relating to oral health.

The report shows oral health knowledge and habits vary across generational groups, despite a strong understanding of the critical connection between oral health and overall health. Delta Dental commissioned the research, which included more than 2,000 US adults and parents of children 12 and under.

The report further indicates that adults and children plan to keep up with positive dental hygiene habits that were cultivated during the pandemic, and a notable portion of adults are turning to alternative oral care products.

“I am encouraged to see that this year’s report finds most adults understand the critical connection between oral and overall health and remain dedicated to practicing proper preventive dental care,” said James W. Hutchison, president and chief executive officer, Delta Dental Plans Association. “Delta Dental remains committed to supporting whole person health through research on new methods of health care delivery and innovative ways to achieve equitable access to dental care.”

Most US adults (92%) and parents (96%) say they consider oral health to be very important to overall health. However, when asked if maintaining good oral health enables a healthier lifestyle, 73% of Gen Z agreed compared to a higher average of 90% for Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers.

Delta Dental found that Gen Z is a driving force behind alternative oral care product usage, as they are almost twice as likely as Boomers to use eco-friendly or non-traditional dental products. One in 10 adults turn to eco-friendly oral care products such as bamboo or plant-based toothbrushes.

Approximately 4 in 5 adults who maintained regular dental visits said they did not require future unexpected care, showing that prevention works. Top motivators of practicing proper oral health care among adults include saving money (87%) and preventing dental issues such as cavities and gum disease (66%).

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