Who has better dental health — men or women? Do dental hygiene habits differ between genders? We have tapped into the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get a clearer picture on the dental hygiene habits of men versus women.
Below is a chart detailing the percentage of persons going to the dentist by year from 1997 to 2013 broken down by gender.
As noted in the chart, women visit the dentist more frequently than men do. Both women and men are going to the dentist more in the year 2013 than in 1997; however, the percentage of women visiting the dentist “in the last year” has increased at a much greater rate than men, with a 4.2% difference in 1997 and a marginally compelling rise to 5.5% in 2013.
See the contrast between the percentage of men and women going to a dentist from 1997 to 2013:
- 1997: 62.9%
- 2013: 63.4%
There was an increase of 0.5% since 1997.
- 1997: 67.1%
- 2013: 68.9%
An increase of 1.8% was seen for women since 1997.
According to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are significantly more likely to visit a dentist than men; however, both parties’ percentages have grown slightly in the last 15 years. Based on this information, perhaps an interesting correlation can be made between health and dental habits and average life expectancy. An article from Harvard makes this point:
“Ask any guy, and he’ll tell you that men are the stronger sex. His reasoning is obvious: in general, men are bigger and more muscular than women. They can run faster, lift more, and throw things farther. Men rule on the playing field, but in medical terms, it’s a very different story. When it comes to health, men are the weaker sex.”
The article goes on to discuss how women’s health habits may attribute to their higher average life expectancy. Why can’t the same be said about dental? Poor oral hygiene has been proven to affect health. It has been made obvious through the data provided above that women do visit a dentist more, which could in turn mean they have better dental health overall. While hygiene habits do not necessarily account for the gender gap in health and dental, it does provide an interesting relationship worth exploring.