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One-Third of Americans Skipped the Dentist’s Office Last Year

Update Date: Apr 29, 2014 09:54 AM EDT

The dentist office can be one of the most dreaded places to go. Even though the drills can be intimidating and uncomfortable, good dental health is vital to one's overall health. Despite this, a new poll conducted by Gallup, found that one in every three adults did not see a dentist within the past 12 months.

The data were collected via interviews that reached 178,072 American adults in 2013 and 354,645 adults in 2008. The interviews asked participants whether or not they went to the dentist within the past 12 months. The researchers found that from 2008 to 2013, the percentage of people who went to the dentist barely changed from 65.7 percent to 64.7 percent. The percentage of men who went to the dentist fell from 63.5 percent to 62 percent. For women, the rates fell from 67.8 percent to 67.2 percent.

When the team analyzed racial and ethnic groups, they found that blacks and Hispanics were least likely to visit a dentist with only 55 percent of them reported doing so within the past year. Around 70 percent of whites and Asians went to the dentist within the same time frame. In terms of age groups, younger adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are less likely to go to the dentist. However, their rates were only slightly lower than the rates of middle aged and older adults.

Overall, the findings suggest that people are not getting the right amount of encouragement to go to a dentist. Dental health and maintenance contributes greatly to overall health and people need to start setting up a routine with their dentist. Research studies have tied poor dental care to other health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. Dentist offices should also follow up with their patients and remind them of the importance of getting yearly checkups.

The report can be found here.

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