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

OAK BROOK, Ill. — May 10, 2023 — 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. 

“I am encouraged to see this year’s report finds most adults understand the critical connection between oral and overall health and remain dedicated to practicing proper preventive dental care,” said James W. Hutchison, President & CEO, Delta Dental Plans Association. “Delta Dental remains committed to supporting whole person health through research on new methods of health care delivery and innovative ways to achieve equitable access to dental care.”


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 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.