Visiting the dentist isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, especially if you haven’t been keeping up with your brushing and flossing. Some people even feel nervous or scared about dental visits, while others really want to go but find it tough to afford. Did you know that 36 percent of adults in the US haven’t seen a dentist in over a year? But here’s the thing: those regular dental check-ups are totally worth it because it’s much cheaper to prevent dental issues than to treat them.
And it’s not just your habits that affect your dental health—where you live matters too! Some places in the U.S. have lots of dental professionals, making it easier to get the care you need. Plus, having fluoridated water can really help prevent tooth decay. While some states are great at providing fluoridated water to most people, others are still catching up.
To determine where people have the healthiest teeth and gums in the U.S., WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 25 key indicators of dental wellness including adolescents who visited a dentist in the past year, dental treatment costs and dentists per capita.
Cassandra Happe, a WalletHub analyst, explains, “Being in a state that cares about dental health can make a world of difference for your mouth and teeth. While there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself like brushing and flossing regularly, states do a lot of legwork with things like access to fluoridated water, dental health programs in schools, and robust benefits through Medicaid. States that have a lot of dental health professionals and have low average costs for care are ideal to live in, as well.”
Without further ado, here are the states with the best dental health:
Ohio ranks highly in dental health due to its high percentage of adults who have visited a dentist in the past year, ensuring regular dental check-ups for its residents. The state also uses the AAPD recommended Dental Periodicity Schedule, ensuring that Medicaid dental benefits are provided at the intervals recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Massachusetts is recognized for its high percentage of adults who have visited a dentist in the past year, indicating good access to dental care. The state also offers extensive dental benefits for nonelderly adults through Medicaid, ensuring broader access to affordable dental care.
8. North Dakota
North Dakota stands out for its relatively low cost of dental treatment, making dental care more affordable for its residents. The state also boasts a high number of dentists per capita, ensuring good access to dental professionals.
7. District of Columbia
The District of Columbia offers a relatively low cost of dental treatment compared to other areas, making dental care more accessible.
Connecticut ranks well due to its low percentage of people who have reduced their social life due to the