An analysis on the states with the best and worst dental health for 2023 has deemed three states in the north central region of the country those with the top honors, with the states in the bottom spread across different areas.
The personal financial website WalletHub released its 2023 rankings of the states with the best and worst dental health, comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 26 key indicators or metrics of dental wellness, including the number of teens and adults who went to the dentist in the past year, dentists per capita, and the percentage of adult smokers.
This year’s top-ranked state was Wisconsin, with Illinois (2), Minnesota (4), and Connecticut (5) rounding out the top 4 states (the District of Columbia was ranked third). The other states in the 10 are North Dakota (6), Michigan (7), Idaho (8), Massachusetts (9), and Ohio (10).
Mississippi was at the bottom of the rankings (51, accounting for the District of Columbia). The other states ranking the lowest are Florida (42), California (43), Alabama (44), Alaska (45), Louisiana (46), Texas (47), Montana (48), West Virginia (49), and Arkansas (50).
For its methodology, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, dental habits and health and oral health, using the 26 metrics, which were given varying weights on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for dental health.
Some “best versus worst” information from a WalletHub press release on the results includes:
- Rhode Island has the lowest share of the population who couldn’t afford more dental visits due to costs, 37.00 percent, which is two times lower than in Georgia, the state with the highest at 74.00 percent.
- The District of Columbia has the most dentists per 100,000 residents, 61, which is 4.1 times more than in Tennessee, the state with the fewest at 15.
- The District of Columbia has the highest share of the population receiving fluoridated water, 100.00 percent, which is 11.4 times higher than in Hawaii, the state with the lowest at 8.8 percent.
- Minnesota, Hawaii, and Illinois have the lowest share of adults with poor or fair oral condition, 22.00 percent, which is 1.8 times lower than in Montana, the state with the highest at 40.00 percent.