Understanding the Importance Between Oral Health and Overall Wellness: Insights from Delta Dental's 2024 Report

By Dr. Jason Grinter on May 2, 2024 in General oral health

Parents and Child Laughing

Delta Dental released its 2024 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report, a nationwide analysis of consumer opinions and behaviors surrounding oral health. The findings underscore a significant understanding among adults regarding the crucial role of oral health in overall wellness.  

Awareness of the Importance of Dental Visits 

Moreover, the report finds that there is a notable increase in awareness among adults regarding oral health’s connection to specific health conditions and diseases, with 91% of adults believing that their dental visit is as important as an annual physical. Younger generations, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, are leading the charge in appreciating this link.  

Delta Dental commissioned the research of 2,000 U.S. adults and parents of children 12 and under. Below are additional key findings from the 2024 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report:  

Good oral hygiene can support mental health

  • More than 9 in 10 (92%) adults believe taking action to protect their oral health allows them to be more confident. 
  • Over 3 in 4 adults (77%) say oral health is closely connected to mental well-being. 

A rise in preventive oral health care pays off 

  • More than 8 in 10 adults (83%) who made a trip to the dentist in 2023 did so for preventive care, increasing from 78% in 2022. 
  • Notably, there is a corresponding decline in unexpected dental visits among adults, decreasing from 41% in 2022 to 36% in 2023.  

Teledentistry gains traction 

  • Nearly half of adults would use teledentistry when seeking oral health care (47%), and over half would trust the care (54%). 
  • Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to engage in teledentistry and trust the care they receive through these services. 

To read the full 2024 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report and learn more about the report’s methodology and findings, click here

Click image to read the summary.

Small view of oral health report summary

About the research

Delta Dental Plans Association commissioned a third-party market research firm, Material Holdings, LLC, to undertake research that formed the basis for this report. Material conducted its research between January 3 and January 17, 2024, using an email invitation and online surveys of two audiences recruited through an opt-in panel: 

  • 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+
  • 1,000 parents of children ages 12 and under Geographic distribution quotas were set to ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. population of adults and parents with children ages 12 and under. Research in this report has a margin of error of +/- 3%.