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    Survey: Nearly 9 in 10 U.S. Adults Agree Maintaining Oral Health is Essential to Overall Health

    Dental health is a priority in 2022

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    BOSTON - March 16, 2022 — In recognition of World Oral Health Day, Delta Dental of Massachusetts shared new survey* findings on the oral health behaviors of adults in the United States, including their awareness of the importance of good oral health and making dental care a priority this year. The findings show that more Americans reported experiencing dental issues this year compared with the previous year, even as many credit the pandemic with making them more aware of the importance of oral health.

    Key findings from this year’s survey include:

    Dental health is a priority in 2022

    Nearly all adults will be prioritizing their dental care in 2022, with an overwhelming number of adults (94%) planning to visit the dentist this year.

    The pandemic’s influence

    About 3 in 4 (74%) adults credit the pandemic with making them even more aware of their health. 
    In fact, almost 9 in 10 (86%) adults would agree that throughout the pandemic, maintaining their oral health is essential to protecting their overall health. 

    Top common dental concerns on the rise

    Despite their good oral health practices, according to this year’s survey, more adults faced dental issues compared to findings from last year. Cavities (86%) topped the list, up 6%. The majority of adults also had to overcome pain or toothache (74%) and teeth sensitivity (67%). These dental issues increased 7% and 6%, respectively.

    “The pandemic has reinforced the fact that oral health has a significant impact on overall health and wellbeing. As we move forward, it is more important than ever to make preventive dental care a priority and I’m pleased to see that most adults agree,” said Dennis Leonard, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Massachusetts. “At Delta Dental, we work hard every day to ensure our members and communities can access the oral health care and resources they need.” 

    World Oral Health Day findings

    World Oral Health Day is celebrated globally every year on March 20. It is organized by FDI World Dental Federation and is the largest global awareness campaign on oral health. The observance aims to spread messages about good oral hygiene practices to adults and children alike and demonstrate the importance of optimal oral health in maintaining general health and well-being.


    *About the survey

    The 2022 Delta Dental Oral Health and Wellness Survey was conducted by the Delta Dental Plans Association between January 19 and January 28, 2022, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000+ U.S. residents ages 18+, with a margin of error of +/- 3%. Delta Dental Plans Association is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies.

    About Delta Dental of Massachusetts 

    Delta Dental of Massachusetts (, the largest provider of dental benefits in the state, is a leader in innovative programs that improve the overall health of members, prevent oral disease and reduce health care costs for employers, groups and individuals. Headquartered in Charlestown, Mass., Delta Dental of Massachusetts, a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association (, covers more than 2 million people. Follow us on Twitter (@DeltaDentalofMA), Facebook (, and Instagram (@deltadentalofma).