Turns out not getting your teeth cleaned isn’t purely about fearing the dentist.
It’s more about a fear of costs.
A government report reveals that many are not getting routine dental checkups, with cost cited as the most common obstacle.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics report found that six in 10 adults had paid a visit to the dentist in the past year.
Among those who didn’t, cost was the main reason for not doing so, with the expense of a dental visit named as the main reason for not seeing a dentist in the prior six months. Additionally, 42 percent of survey participants said that they either didn’t have dental insurance and/or they couldn’t afford to get their teeth treated.
Still, being scared is part of the overall equation—fear was cited by 10 percent as the primary reason not going near the dentist’s office.
The report also found that roughly 75 percent of participants said their oral health was either good or very good, while 17 percent and 7 percent, respectively, described their dental health as fair or poor.
Oral health appeared to differ by the type of insurance people had, with Medicaid recipients running a five times greater risk for poorer dental health than those with private coverage. Adults on Medicaid were also significantly more likely than other adults to have not visited a dentist in more than a half-decade.
The findings stem from the responses of more than 17,000 Americans, aged 18 to 64, across the country.