Children seeing more dentists, adults less

There is good news and bad news in an important new study of Americans’ dental habits.

The good news is that the percentage of Medicaid enrolled children who visited a dentist in the past year increased 29 percent from 2000 to 2013. Thus, the gap between privately insured children’s dental care and poorer children has narrowed greatly.

On the negative side, dental visits by adults with private insurance is declining in most states.

The findings above come from the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute. The report includes data from all 50 states. It can found here.

In whole, the report indicates that adults value good dental care but are struggling in many instances to pay for it because of the national economy and a changing insurance landscape.

There is an opportunity there for policy makers to match the need with policies that work for all involved.