Surprising Survey Results
A recent survey reveals that more than 25 percent of American adults are less than confident about their oral health.
The survey, conducted by health and dental insurer Cigna, shows a connection between feeling self-confident and seeing the dentist regularly.
The study showed that 75 percent of individuals who reported seeing the dentist regularly had a high level of self-confidence.
The study collected responses from 1,000 U.S. adults. Answers from the participants revealed that there was a distinct division in perception about dental care and oral health among age groups.
One of those divisions was shown in responses from those in the Generation Z demographic (born between 1996 and 2010). Individuals in this group believed that their oral health could be improved.
Fifty percent of those in the Baby Boomer demographic felt that the state of their oral health could be improved.
The study found that younger demographics connected oral health and confidence more often than older people. But, older age groups were more likely to visit the dentist more frequently.
Cigna regularly studies the mind-body connection to find new ways to improve their customer’s lives and health.
“For many individuals, the state of their oral health does impact how they feel about themselves,” said Dr. Kevin Pollock, a Rockwall, Texas, dentist.
Other research studies have linked negative feelings about oral health to feeling less confident and causing people to be less likely to pursue relationships, skip out on job interviews and avoid social situations.
“Many people who feel negatively about their smiles tend not to show them off. They cover their mouth when talking or avoid smiling in pictures and may avoid being close to others,” Pollock said.
The Cigna survey also showed that many individuals felt as if they had obstacles to good oral health.
Some of these obstacles included lack of dental insurance, cost of dental care, busy work schedules, and difficulty or lack of transportation in getting to dental appointments.
Participants in the survey also offered feedback on ways to improve access to dental health care, including providing on-site dental appointments at workplaces.
Some participants, especially those in the millennial and Generation Z demographics, also suggested adding virtual dental visits, including on-site dental appointments at the workplace and even virtual visits.
Another dental insurer, Delta Dental, put some statistics on its website regarding how different age groups felt about taking care of their teeth.
More than 80 percent of individuals 36 and older feel that taking care of their teeth is an “important” part of the daily hygiene routine.
This high percentage is starkly different from the opinion of individuals who are 25 and younger. Just 55.83 percent of this demographic felt that taking care of their oral hygiene is essential. Many individuals in this age group said they spend as little time as possible cleaning their teeth, and 15.53 percent said they forgot to clean their teeth at all.
Instead of oral hygiene as a focus, this age group felt that it was more important to prevent bad breath (48 percent) or to have white teeth (43.69 percent).
Source: Managed Healthcare Executive. Obtaining Oral Care Services Can Influence Self-Confidence. 13 January 2020.