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Dental Visit - Women
Dental Visit - Women in Virginia

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Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported visiting a dentist or dental clinic within the past year

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Dental Visit - Women by State

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported visiting a dentist or dental clinic within the past year

Dental Visit - Women Trends

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported visiting a dentist or dental clinic within the past year

Trend: Dental Visit - Women in Virginia, United States, 2023 Health Of Women And Children Report

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported visiting a dentist or dental clinic within the past year

United States

 CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

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About Dental Visit - Women

US Value: 65.5%

Top State(s): Rhode Island, Utah: 74.6%

Bottom State(s): Tennessee: 57.1%

Definition: Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported visiting a dentist or dental clinic within the past year

Data Source and Years: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2020

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation,, accessed 2023.

Oral health is a vital component of overall health. Oral diseases such as dental caries (also known as cavities), periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay and gingivitis are common and can contribute to mild to severe health issues if left undiagnosed and untreated.

Poor oral health can negatively impact quality of life by causing pain and/or tooth loss, affecting one’s ability to chew, speak and interact socially. Further, inflammation associated with periodontal disease has been linked to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and oral cancer. More than 40% of adults reported feeling mouth pain in the past year, and 80% of people have had at least one cavity by age 34.

Good oral health is particularly important during pregnancy, as physiological changes may put pregnant women at higher risk of new or exacerbated oral health problems. For example, increased inflammatory response to dental plaque during pregnancy may cause pregnancy gingivitis. Other common oral health conditions that occur during pregnancy include tooth erosion, cavities and periodontal disease.

Barriers exist to receiving routine dental care. The most common reasons cited for not seeking out dental care are cost and lack of insurance, and more recently COVID-19. Although overall dental visits have largely rebounded from their steep decline during the early months of the pandemic, there remain significant COVID-related barriers to oral health care. Nearly a quarter of Americans delayed dental care in 2022 due to COVID-19, and 19% have not been able to see a dental provider at all since the pandemic began. Furthermore, pandemic-related job loss, reduction in benefits and financial hardship continue to negatively impact access to dental insurance.

According to America’s Health Rankings data, the prevalence of annual dental visits is higher among:

  • Women ages 18-24 and 35-44 compared with women ages 25-34.
  • White, multiracial and Black women compared with Hispanic women.
  • Women who have graduated college. The prevalence of annual dental visits increases with each increase in education level.
  • Women with an annual household income of $75,000 or more. The prevalence of annual dental visits increases with each increase in income level.
  • Women living in metropolitan areas compared with those in non-metropolitan areas.

Oral diseases are preventable through routine dental visits and proper oral hygiene. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Oral Health Strategic Framework outlines specific strategies and current government initiatives for improving access to oral health care.

Additionally, incorporating oral health counseling into prenatal and perinatal care can help prevent pregnancy-related oral health disease and encourage healthy oral hygiene habits during and following pregnancy. 

Resources to find affordable dental care include:

  • The Find a Health Center tool, which locates community-based organizations that provide sliding-scale and free health services, including dental care, that meet the quality requirements of the Health Resources and Services Administration.
  • The 211 helpline, accessible online and by phone 24/7, provides information on and assistance with meeting basic needs, including medical and dental care.
  • State and local dental organizations, which may have more information about local free or reduced-cost services and programs.

Increasing the proportion of adults who have used the oral health care system within the past year is a Healthy People 2030 leading health indicator. 

The Department of Health and Human Services identifies five key goals in their Oral Health Strategic Framework:

  • Integrate oral health and primary health care.
  • Prevent disease and promote oral health.
  • Increase access to oral health care and eliminate disparities.
  • Increase the dissemination of oral health information and improve health literacy.
  • Advance oral health in public policy and research.

“ACOG Committee Opinion No. 569: Oral Health Care During Pregnancy and Through the Lifespan.” 2013. Obstetrics & Gynecology, no. 122 (August): 417–22.

Adesanya, Margo R., William Bailey, Donald C. Belcher, Marco Beltran, Tracy Branch, Marcia K. Brand, Edwin M. Craft, et al. 2016. “U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Oral Health Strategic Framework, 2014–2017.” Public Health Reports 131 (2): 242–57.

Choi, Sung Eun, Lisa Simon, Sanjay Basu, and Jane R. Barrow. 2021. “Changes in Dental Care Use Patterns Due to COVID-19 among Insured Patients in the United States.” The Journal of the American Dental Association 152 (12): 1033-1043.e3.

Griffin, Susan O., Judith A. Jones, Diane Brunson, Paul M. Griffin, and William D. Bailey. 2012. “Burden of Oral Disease Among Older Adults and Implications for Public Health Priorities.” American Journal of Public Health 102 (3): 411–18.

Heaton, Lisa J., Adrianna C. Sonnek, Kelly Schroeder, and Eric P. Tranby. 2022. “Americans Are Still Not Getting the Dental Care They Need.” Research Report. The State of Oral Health Equity in America 2022. Boston, MA: CareQuest Institute for Oral Health.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2000. “Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General.” Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health.

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America’s Health Rankings builds on the work of the United Health Foundation to draw attention to public health and better understand the health of various populations. Our platform provides relevant information that policymakers, public health officials, advocates and leaders can use to effect change in their communities.

We have developed detailed analyses on the health of key populations in the country, including women and children, seniors and those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, in addition to a deep dive into health disparities across the country.