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New Delta Dental report reveals U.S. adults recognize importance of oral health to overall well-being

Report also finds generational differences in oral care knowledge and habits

May 10, 2022

Media contact: Jeremy Butterfield,

ROANOKE, Va. — 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 U.S. 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. 

Below are key findings from the 2023 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report:

A generational knowledge gap exists

  • Most U.S. 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.
Gen Z seeks oral care products outside of medicine cabinet staples
  • Gen Z is a driving force behind alternative oral care product usage, as they are almost twice as likely as Boomers (66% versus 36%) 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. 

Preventive care helps avoid serious dental issues and expenses 

  • Approximately 4 in 5 adults (81%) 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%). 

To read the full 2023 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report and learn more about the report’s methodology and findings, click here.

About the report 
The 2023 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report is based upon Delta Dental Plans Association-commissioned research conducted between January 6 and January 23, 2023, by Material Holdings, LLC, a global insights and strategy consultancy, using an email invitation and online surveys of two audiences recruited through an opt-in panel:

  • 1,000 nationally representative Americans ages 18+
  • 1,253 parents of children ages 12 and under

Geographic distribution quotas were set to ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. population of adults and parents with children 12 and under. Research in this report has a margin of error of +/- 3%.

About Delta Dental of Virginia
Established in 1964, Delta Dental of Virginia is the largest dental benefits provider in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Delta Dental of Virginia provides high-quality, cost-effective dental plans to more than two million members. Through its foundation, Delta Dental of Virginia has donated millions of dollars to improve the oral health of Virginians.

Delta Dental of Virginia is a member of the national Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA). Since 1954, the DDPA has worked to improve oral health nationally. Delta Dental member companies serve more than 83 million people in more than 152,000 groups across the nation.

About Delta Dental Plans Association
Based in Oak Brook, Illinois, Delta Dental Plans Association is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation's largest dental benefits provider, covering more than 89 million Americans and offering the country's largest dental network with approximately 152,000 participating dentists. Over the last decade, Delta Dental companies provided over $1.88 billion in direct and in-kind support to improve the oral health of our communities.