10 States with the Best Dental Health

February 21, 2017
Sarah Handzel, BSN, RN

A new ranking from WalletHub determines which the overall level of oral health in each state, using 23 indicators. The number-crunching gurus looked at the share of adolescents who visited a dentist in the past year, the share of adults who visited a dentist in the past year, and the cost of dental treatments, among other factors. WalletHub collected data to make these determinations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Dental Association.

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The new ranking explored data from a variety of sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Census Bureau, and the American Dental Association. WalletHub used 23 key indicators of oral health to rank individual states and the District of Columbia, with each indicator assigned a corresponding value.

Each state could accrue up to 100 points — the higher the number, the better the ranking. Metrics were based on a state’s score for various indicators, including “share of adults who visited a dentist in the past year,” “presence of state oral health plan” and “poor or fair oral condition.”

The metrics included in the rankings showed states where oral health care is more widely available, and where the public used dental services the most. It also sheds light on information like the percentage of adolescents who saw a dentist within the past year, and the lowest and highest treatment costs per state.

Click the next page to see the rankings, starting with number 1.

1. Minnesota

· A score of 82.20 gave the state the best ranking in America, with superior marks given for “Dental Habits and Care” and “Oral Health.”

· The state has the lowest percentage of adults with a poor or fair oral health condition.

2. Wisconsin

· 70.1 percent of adults living in the state reported visiting a dentist within the past year for any oral health reason, according to America’s Health Rankings.

· WalletHub also ranks the state as the ninth most charitable in the country.

3. Illinois

· The state ranks high on the list for many reasons, including having a very low percentage of adults who experienced pain in the past year due to an oral condition.

· Illinois also ranks 12th in the nation for number of dentists per 100,000 population, coming in at 67.6.

· North Dakota received the highest ranking for the lowest percentage of adults with low life satisfaction due to an oral condition.

· According to WalletHub, the state is also the best place in the country to raise a family.

· The state ranks first for the percentage of adults who visited a dentist within the past year.

· Connecticut also has the lowest rate of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among adolescents in the country.

· The most dentists per capita live in Massachusetts.

· The state also made the list of the best states to raise a family.

7. Michigan

· More than 67 percent of adults earning at least $25,000 per year made a visit to the dentist within the last year in Michigan.

8. District of Columbia (D.C.)

· The District scored high for lowest percentage of adults who experienced pain in the past year due to an oral condition.

· WalletHub also found that D.C. has one of the lowest percentages of adults with low life satisfaction due to an oral condition.

9. Iowa

· The state received high marks for several metrics in “Dental Habits and Care,” including the lowest percentage of adults who experienced pain in the past year due to an oral condition.

· Iowa is also one of the happiest states in the nation, according to WalletHub.

10. Ohio

· Over 59 percent of adults earning at least $25,000 per year saw a dentist within the past year in the state.

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