New report ranks dental wellness in U.S. states

By Tony Edwards, editor in chief

February 2, 2018 -- Which U.S. states have the best and the worst overall dental health? Which states have the lowest and highest concentrations of dentists? A February 1 report from a personal finance website has the answers to those questions and more.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared 25 key indicators of dental wellness across all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The aim of the report was to see where U.S. states ranked in consumer dental wellness. Minnesota came in as the highest ranked, while Mississippi scored the lowest.

The report used 25 different sets of data to come to its conclusions. The website also gathered an expert panel of dentists, hygienists, and researchers to provide insight. The report included information about the percentage of adolescents who visited a dentist in the past year, the cost of dental treatments, and how oral health affects life satisfaction.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Connecticut were the top three states overall. These states ranked high in personal dental habits and care and also in satisfaction with personal oral health.

Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi scored the lowest in the report. These states had lower percentages of adults who saw a dentist in the past year and relatively high rates of consumers who smoked tobacco and consumed sugary beverages.

In addition, the report found that Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Michigan have the highest concentration of dentists per capita. Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee have the fewest dentists (see infographic below).

States with fewer dentists also scored relatively low on the overall assessment, with Kentucky listed at 36th out of 51, Tennessee at 38th, and Louisiana at 46th. The states with the most dentists ranked high with Michigan at seventh, Massachusetts at eighth, and South Dakota at ninth.

For more information, the full report is available on the WalletHub website.

Best U.S. states for dental health

Copyright © 2018

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