Consumers believe maintaining good oral health is essential to protecting overall health during the pandemic 


OAK BROOK, Ill. — October 15, 2020 — This National Dental Hygiene Month, Delta Dental Plans Association applauds Americans for continuing to make their oral health care a priority as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. According to new consumer survey data, a majority (86%) of Americans believe maintaining good oral health is essential to protecting oral and overall health throughout the pandemic.  

In fact, at-home oral care habits such as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash remained positive during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • 77% of consumers report they are brushing according to the recommended guidelines of twice per day or more during the pandemic (March 2020 – present) — a figure that is on par with pre-COVID data findings and marks an improvement since 2019 (75% in January 2020 vs. 68% in 2019).
  • 45% of consumers report they are using mouthwash twice per day during the pandemic, which signals a slight increase in pre-COVID trends with 41% who reported the same in January 2020.
  • During the pandemic 38% of consumers reported flossing at least once per day, which is the recommended guideline, and another 35% said they are flossing twice per day during the pandemic, demonstrating a commitment to good oral hygiene at home.

“It is encouraging to see a wide-spread understanding of oral health’s importance to overall health,” said Dr. Joseph Dill, MBA, Head of Dental Science, Delta Dental Plans Association. “It is further encouraging to see consumers reporting good at-home dental hygiene habits during the pandemic.”

Additionally, a recent study from the Delta Dental Institute found that 91% of consumers believe taking care of their oral health now will help prevent other health problems later. Furthermore, a significant majority of Americans believe that routine dentist appointments remain important during the pandemic: 69% of consumers agree the benefits of a routine dentist appointment outweigh the potential risks of delaying preventive care. This sentiment reinforces an understanding of the importance of seeking professional dental hygiene cleanings in addition to at-home practices.

To learn more about maintaining good dental hygiene, visit Delta Dental’s “Protect my Smile” page. 


About the survey

This survey was fielded among a nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older. The survey was conducted online during the period of October 9-11, 2020 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.


About Delta Dental Plans Association

Delta Dental Plans Association, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation’s largest provider of dental insurance, covering more than 80 million Americans, and offering the country’s largest dental network with approximately 156,000 participating dentists. In 2019, Delta Dental companies provided approximately $76 million in direct and in-kind community outreach support to improve the oral health of adults, children and infants in local communities across the country. For more information, visit:

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