Men’s Health recently published a study on which cities in America have the worst teeth, and surprisingly enough, Dallas, TX made it into the top ten.
- St. Louis, MO
- Philadelphia, PA
- Newark, NJ
- Baltimore, MD
- New Orleans, LA
- Jackson, MS
- Jersey City, NJ
- Milwaukee, WI
- Kansas City, MO
- Dallas, TX
The magazine reached this conclusion by analyzing databases of total dentist visits, dental procedures, how many people claim to floss, how much money citizens spend on tooth health products, the city’s water fluoridation, and dentists per capita.
However, what is the strangest about this study are two important statistics that they used while formulating the final results. The first major one is from the Center of Disease Control, which listed the 10 metropolitan areas with the lowest percentage of people who visited a dentist in the last year.
- Tulsa, OK 57.3%
- Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ 58.3%
- Scottsbluff, NE 58.6%
- Yuma, AZ 58.9%
- Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC 59%
- Lubbock, TX 59.1%
- El Paso, TX 59.1%
- Wichita Falls, TX 59.5%
- Orangeburg, SC 60.2%
- Montgomery, AL 60.3%
So the Dallas metroplex, which would include Frisco, TX and most of the Collin County area, is not part of this statistic. In other words, Dallas has the worst teeth, but more than 60% of its citizens visit the dentist at least once a year.
Since not all health coverage plans include dental insurance, the CDC investigated how many of the American population have health insurance and how many have dental insurance. 86.19% of those the CDC surveyed had health insurance, and only 61.02% of those had dental coverage.
Not all health coverage plans include dental insurance, of course. In 2001, the CDC found that while 86.19% of those surveyed had some form of health insurance, only 61.02% had dental coverage. In looking at the CDC’s database for showing how many residents of metropolitan areas have health insurance (dental insurance was unfortunately not separated in this database), the following are the ten metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of people without any health insurance:
- El Paso, TX 39.5%
- Las Cruces, NM 26.8%
- Houston-Sugarland-Baytown, TX 25%
- Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC 23.8%
- Yuma, AZ 23.3%
- Wenatchee, WA 22.8%
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA 22.2%
- Orangeburg, SC 21.9%
- Lubbock, TX 21.9%
- Wichita Falls, TX 21.5%
There is an unsurprising distinct overlap of metropolitan areas from these statistics, but Dallas isn’t in either of them. So it’s very puzzling that our population has fewer than 20% uninsured and over 60% of us have visited the dentist in the last year. From that, a logical conclusion would be that while we do have health coverage and we do go visit the dentist, apparently we have more corrective procedures due to health problems than these other metropolitan areas not in the top ten.
Does this mean that we are not brushing and flossing often enough? Do we only visit the dentist once a year and then find ourselves needing health procedures? It’s very interesting, and it’s one we will keep a close eye on.
It also makes one want to look closer at everyone’s teeth in the DFW Metroplex…