Dental health is an important part of overall health, but many states have disparities in their dental health outcomes. At Lady Bird Dental, we wanted to take a closer look at this issue by ranking the states with the best and worst dental health in 2023. We looked at key metrics like access to care, preventive services, and oral health education to determine which states are leading the way in dental health care and which ones are lagging behind. Keep reading to learn more about our findings.
When it comes to dental health, some states are doing a better job than others. Here are five of the top-ranking states when it comes to providing access to quality dental care:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
These five states all scored well on every metric we looked at, including access to care, preventive services, and oral health education. Vermont was particularly impressive; they had the highest number of dentists per 100 people in the country and also had one of the highest rates of adults who visited a dentist within the last year. These states also have good preventive services such as fluoride treatments for children and adult sealants that help protect against tooth decay.
The Worst States for Dental Health
Unfortunately, there were some less impressive results when it came to dental health in 2023. Here are five of the lowest-ranking states for access to quality care:
These five states all scored poorly on key metrics like having enough dentists per capita, providing preventive services like fluoride treatments or sealants, and offering oral health education programs. Mississippi had one of the lowest numbers of dentists per 100 people in the nation – less than half that of Vermont – making it difficult for residents in rural areas to get adequate care. Arkansas was another low-performing state; they had one of the lowest rates of adults who visited a dentist within the last year.
What Can Be Done?
It’s clear that some states need to do more when it comes to improving access to quality dental care. While increasing funding for such programs is one way forward, there are other initiatives that can be taken as well. One example is increasing oral health education programs aimed at children so that they understand how important brushing and flossing regularly is for their overall wellbeing. Another idea is expanding telehealth services so that those living in rural areas can access dental care from home. Finally, offering subsidies or discounts on preventive services like sealants or fluoride treatments could help make them more accessible for those who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
Overall, there is still much work that needs to be done when it comes to improving access to quality dental care across all U.S. states by 2023. While some states are doing better than others when it comes to providing comprehensive services and preventive measures, there is still room for improvement nationwide if we want everyone – regardless of their location –to have equal access to quality dental care.
At Lady Bird Dental we believe all people should have equal opportunities when it comes to achieving optimal oral health and we will continue advocating for improved policy initiatives so everyone has equal access no matter where they live or how much money they make.
Please or call our office at: 512-805-7911.