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ADA: One in Four Adults Avoid Smiling Due to the Condition of Their Mouth and Teeth

By Ann R. Sielicki, DDS on September 23, 2018

1 in 4 adults avoid smilingIf you find yourself reluctant to smile due to the health or appearance of your teeth, you are not alone. A survey from the American Dental Association (ADA) found that one in four adults avoid smiling due to the condition of their teeth and mouth. What’s more, the survey found that Americans are facing a slew of oral health issues. Here, Scottsdale dental practice Sonoran Dental Design discusses the survey’s findings in detail.

Key Findings

The ADA’s Health Policy Institute surveyed a group of American adults about their oral health status, habits and attitudes. Researchers found that 95 percent of adults said they believed dental visits are important to oral health, and 88 percent said they planned on visiting the dentist within the next year. But only 37 percent actually visited the dentist during the previous year. The survey also found that cost was the number one reason why adults avoid dental care.

More than half of adults surveyed reported having experienced dry mouth, difficulty biting and chewing and pain within the last 12 months. In addition, 23 percent of adults surveyed said they were embarrassed due to the condition of their mouth and teeth, while one in five experience anxiety because of it.

Millennials and Oral Health

Interestingly, the survey found that Millennials (adults between the ages of 18 and 34) had the highest rate of untreated tooth decay. Many of them face a number of other oral health issues. The survey found:

  • Of all the age groups, Millennials are most likely to report having problems due to the condition of their teeth and mouth. Pain is the top oral health problem among Millennials.
  • Thirty-five percent of millennials have trouble biting and chewing.
  • Thirty-five percent are embarrassed due to the condition of their mouth and teeth, and 33 percent avoid smiling because of it.
  • Twenty-three percent reduce their participation in the social activities due to the condition of their mouth and teeth.
  • Thirty-eight percent said they find life “less satisfying” because of oral health problems.

What Are Your Oral Health Concerns?

Whether you are experiencing a dental problem or are simply unhappy with the appearance of your smile, Sonoran Dental Design can help. To discuss your options in restorative or cosmetic dental care, or to simply schedule a routine dental exam, contact our Scottsdale practice today.


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Dr. Sielicki and her staff are professional and I immediately felt comfortable. My teeth look fantastic. I could not be more pleased with the outcome.Emily

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Scottsdale Office

Sonoran Dental
7500 E Pinnacle Peak Rd Scottsdale, AZ 85255 (480) 419-9595

More Info Directions (480) 419-9595

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