29 Jun

Almost half of US adults haven’t seen a dentist for over a year

New research shows that almost half of US adults haven’t been to the dentist in over a year.

A survey published by Berxi revealed that 48% of adults haven’t seen a dentist for at least 12 months and almost 20% haven’t attended a dental appointment in over 3 years.

The poll also highlighted shortfalls in oral hygiene, with 50% of those surveyed admitting to only brushing their teeth once a day. Over half of adults floss less than once a day and 50% don’t use mouthwash daily. 

One of the most shocking revelations from the study was the prevalence of poor dental hygiene habits among dental professionals. Almost 30% said they brushed once a day.

The State of Oral Health Equity in America survey also flagged gaps in insurance cover. The latest statistics suggest that 77 million adults don’t have dental insurance. The survey, which involved more than 5,000 adults, found that 43% identified cost as the main reason for avoiding or postponing appointments. This figure increased from 38% in 2021. The rising cost of living is a contributing factor for many, especially those who don’t have access to insurance through their jobs. 

Despite revealing surprising oral hygiene habits among dental professionals, the study showed that people who work in the dental industry are likely to spend more on products, including electric toothbrushes, mouthwash, tooth whitening strips and water flossers. 

The findings of the Berxi study indicate that a huge proportion of adults in the US are missing out on regular dental appointments, which could lead to an increase in the demand for treatments, such as fillings, crowns, root canal therapy, dentures, bridges and dental implants, in the future. Cost is one of the most common barriers for patients, with over 40% putting off going to the dentist in 2022 because they can’t afford treatment.