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NH Ranks 25th for Oral Health in 2024. Can We Learn From Other States?

As a dental office in Nashua, it’s heartening to see New Hampshire making significant strides towards becoming achieving better health. In a recent dental ranking, New Hampshire climbed from the 26th spot in 2023 to 25th in 2024, signaling a positive trend in the collective dental well-being of our Nashua patients and New Hampshire residents as a whole.

A particularly bright spot in this upwards trajectory is our youths’ dedication to maintaining and improving oral health. New Hampshire now boasts the 5th highest percentage of the adolescent population making regular visits to the dentist. This early adoption of good dental habits at a young age lays a strong foundation for lifelong oral health. As we will see later on with comparison to states such as Kentucky, this is an important habit to form in maintaining good oral and overall health. If you moved to Nashua and you and your family are looking for a dentist near you,our dentists would love to welcome you to our practice to hep your family form this important habit.

Adolescent dental visits isn’t the only thing this state has to be proud of. In the battle against sugary drinks, our state has emerged as a commendable contender, boasting the second-lowest sugary beverage consumption—trailing just behind our neighbors to the south, Massachusetts. One might say it’s time to “brush up” on our dental efforts and claim the top spot in the coming year. After all, there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition.

However, it’s not all smiles for the residents of New Hampshire just yet. A significant challenge remains as only 46% of New Hampshire’s population has access to fluoridated water, placing us in 44th position nationally. This stark statistic reminds us of the long road ahead in ensuring that all residents have access to this critical component of oral health.

Fluoridation, while important, isn’t everything, however. Looking to Kentucky, we find a cautionary tale. Despite nearly universal access to fluoridated water, they instead to choose to drink sugary beverages instead, consuming the second most sugary beverages of any state. With New Hampshire already consuming so few sugary beverages, imagine how much better dental health would be if the water was fluoridated as well. If you live near Nashua and have concerns about your water not being fluoridated, make sure to talk to our dentists to see what options are available to help.

In addition to Kentuckians drinking large amounts of sugary beverages, they are also some of the heaviest smokers in the nation, with over 20% of the population smoking regularly. Smoking has been known for a long time now to be associated with poorer dental health, in addition to being bad for overall health.

On top of all this, Kentuckians are also some of the least likely to see a dentist on an annual basis, this despite the fact that Kentucky has some of the cheapest dental care costs in the country. It’s no wonder then that Kentucky has some of the highest rates of adults living with dental pain. This shows that fluoridation isn’t a magical cure if everything else is being ignored. Improving oral health requires a multifaceted approach, including reducing sugar intake, increasing dental healthcare access, and tackling smoking rates.

As New Hampshire continues on its path to oral health excellence, let’s embrace the lessons learned both within and beyond our borders. By encouraging regular dental visits, reducing sugary beverage consumption, and working towards greater access to fluoridated water, we can build a future where oral health is one of our state’s points of pride.

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