oral health care

Which state has women with the nicest smiles?

March 26, 2013 at 4:31 PM ET

Dental Health in Women
iVillage /
Dental Health in Women

If you live in Connecticut, you’ve made going to the dentist when you’re supposed to a priority. In the Constitution State, 83.7 percent of women make time to go to the dentist at least once a year. Women in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Iowa and Rhode Island also score high marks when it comes to dental hygiene.

Dental health is clearly connected to overall health, reports The Mayo Clinic. If left unchecked, the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease can enter the bloodstream and trigger the inflammation that is a hallmark of heart disease. Dental care is especially important for women with diabetes because of the increased risk of gum infections that can lead to tooth loss. It may be no coincidence that Mississippi women have both the worst rate of diabetes and the lowest percentage of women who see a dentist annually.

Here are the state rankings for women visiting the dentist: #1 has the best teeth; #50 needs to get to the dentist pronto. All numbers are percentages of women who are getting to the dentist at least once a year.

RankState%
1Connecticut83.7
2Massachusetts82.8
3Minnesota80.2
4Iowa80
5Rhode Island79
6New Hampshire78.3
6Wisconsin78.3
8Virginia77.9
9Maryland77.2
10South Dakota77.1
11Vermont77
12New Jersey76.9
13Delaware76.4
14Utah76.2
15Kansas75.7
16Hawaii75.2
17New York75
18Ohio74.8
19North Dakota74.5
20Pennsylvania74.4
21Michigan74.3
22Washington73.8
23Nebraska73.4
24Alaska73.3
25Oregon72.4
26Maine72.3
27California72
28Georgia71.9
28Illinois71.9
30Idaho71.6
31Wyoming71.5
32Indiana71.2
33Arizona70.6
34Colorado70.4
35North Carolina70.2
36New Mexico70.1
37Tennessee69
38Nevada68.3
39Florida67.2
40Kentucky66.9
41Louisiana66.3
42Alabama66
43Missouri65.2
44South Carolina64.4
45Arkansas63.9
46Montana63.4
46West Virginia63.4
48Texas63.7
49Oklahoma59.7
50Mississippi59.6

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010

See the State of Women methodology and sources.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.


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