Dental care is something that many Americans have and don’t think too much about. After all, healthy teeth are just as important as having a healthy body and mind.
However, there are still many Americans for whom preventative dental care – getting regular screenings and making sure that their teeth remain healthy – is still a dream.
Unfortunately not getting preventative dental care can result in serious tooth problems down the road – tooth problems that can become much more serious and even affect other parts of the body.
Published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, 650,000 middle-aged and older adults were surveyed about their dental care practices between 1998 and 2008, making this a landmark study with a huge group of participants.
The findings of the study showed that many Americans still don’t have access to preventive dental care, primarily because of financial concerns. However, other factors like education and having health insurance through an employer also played a major role in the ability to receive preventive dental care.
Differentiation between Ethnic Groups
The amount of preventive dental care that Americans received can be broken down by income and education levels, but the biggest gaps come when comparing different ethnic groups. According to the study, about 23 to 43-percent of Americans didn’t receive preventive dental care each year.
However, almost 77-percent of Asian Americans and 76-percent of Caucasian did receive preventive dental care. When compared to only 62-percent for Hispanics and Native Americans, and only 57-percent for African American, you can see the racial disparity in who is getting preventive dental care and who is not.
Among all cultural groups it was found that people who have health insurance were 138-percent more likely to receive preventive dental care than individuals who did not have medical coverage.