States with best and worst dental health

JACKSON, Wyo. — Many people dislike visiting their dentist, especially if they haven’t kept up with their brushing and flossing. Some even have dental anxiety and phobia. But there are other people who wish they could go yet can’t afford it.

According to the CDC, 36% of adults have gone over a year without seeing a dentist. The costs of frequent dental checks are worth it, though. A checkup costs $90-$137 on average while a filling can go for $230-$313 and a crown typically sets you back over $1,200. So, prevention is cheaper than regular treatment.

But brushing, flossing and getting an annual checkup aren’t the only things that impact dental health. Where you live can have an effect, too. For example, certain areas of the U.S. have a higher density of dental professionals.

And one of the biggest locational factors is the presence of fluoridated water, which can help prevent tooth decay. It’s so important, in fact, that the CDC projects that in 2020 nearly 80% of public water will have this benefit.

In order to determine which places have the healthiest teeth and gums in the U.S., WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 26 key indicators of dental wellness. The data set ranges from share of adolescents who visited a dentist in the past year to dental treatment costs to share of adults with low life satisfaction due to oral condition.

Wyoming ranked below the median line at #38, especially low in habits and care. Surprisingly, however, as poorly as Wyoming ranked in taking care of our teeth, the Equality State was near the top of the list for how well are teeth are holding up.

Despite not getting to the dentist often enough, Wyomingites have pretty good teeth. Image: Courtesy WalletHub

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