Delta Dental report shows Americans prioritized oral health during the pandemic

OAK BROOK, Ill. — April 30, 2021 — Today, the Delta Dental Plans Association released the 2020 State of America's Oral Health Report, a nationwide analysis of consumer opinions and behaviors relating to oral health. Based on findings from two surveys of 2,000+ American adults and parents of children 12 and under, the 2020 report shows Americans prioritized oral health as part of maintaining overall health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report comes at a time when Americans are more focused on healthcare than ever before.  

Key findings include:

  • A majority of adults prioritized oral healthcare in 2020, with 74% visiting a dentist, despite facing widespread challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 90% of American adults believe that maintaining their oral health has been essential to protecting their overall health throughout the pandemic; 94% of parents believe maintaining their children’s oral health is essential to protecting their children’s overall health throughout the pandemic.
  • Only around 1 in 2 Americans agree that oral health is closely linked to several medical conditions, including strokes and high blood pressure.

"Amid the challenges presented by the pandemic, Americans embraced oral health in 2020," said James W. Hutchison, President & CEO, Delta Dental Plans Association. "As the research shows, the vast majority of people understand that oral health is critically important to overall health, but we still have a great opportunity to educate the public about the connection. The more Americans know about the impact of oral health on overall health, the more likely they are to approach their health holistically and continue the strong oral health habits that many adopted during the pandemic."

"The insights from this report will act as a catalyst to ensure that the broader healthcare conversation includes oral health, which is a vital part of physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. We are in a new era of healthcare, and as American society reexamines its healthcare practices in the wake of the pandemic, the oral health community must redouble its efforts to demonstrate the importance of oral health, partner with communities, and expand access to care," Hutchison concluded.

As showcased by the findings, Americans increasingly recognize the value of good oral health and are taking action to achieve it. Nearly all survey respondents plan to prioritize oral health, either by visiting the dentist, securing dental insurance if they are uninsured, or paying closer attention to their oral care habits in 2021.

To read the full 2020 State of America's Oral Health Report and learn more about its methodology and findings, click here.


About the surveys

Delta Dental's Adult's Oral Health & Wellness Survey was conducted December 28, 2020, through January 8, 2021, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000+ Americans ages 18+, with a margin of error of +/- 3% 

Delta Dental's Children's Oral Health & Wellness Survey was conducted during the same period, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000+ American parents with children 12 and under, with the same margin of error. 


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 insurance provider, covering more than 80 million Americans and offering the country's largest dental network with approximately 156,000 participating dentists. Over the last decade, Delta Dental companies provided over $1.75 billion in direct and in-kind support to improve the oral health of our communities across the country. Visit for information on individual dental insurance plans and group dental insurance plans.


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