The Slatest

People From Connecticut Go to the Dentist More Than Anyone Else in the Country

Bear Mountain, Connecticut’s highest peak.

Wikimedia Commons

The pollin’ fiends at Gallup (“DEMOGRAPHY LIFE” -Gallup employee pectoral tattoo) have today’s hottest story: for the third year in a row, residents of Connecticut went to the dentist more than residents of any other state in the country.

Five states, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, have ranked in the top 10 states for dental visits every year since Gallup and Healthways began daily tracking in 2008. Connecticut has taken the top spot four times—from 2011 through 2013, and in 2009. On the other hand, eight states—Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky—have ranked in the bottom 10 every year since 2008.

Before you say “har, The South is at it again,” bear in mind Gallup’s note that “the bottom 10 states for dental visits have a significantly higher average uninsured rate at 20.5% than the top 10 states for dental visits (12.6%).” So maybe it’s less a cultural penchant for lackadaisical toothlessness and more a symptom of poverty. FWIW, dental care can be purchased, but is not subsidized, through Obamacare exchanges. And insurers in the exchanges are only required to make dental plans available to children.

*Correction, May 5, 2014: This article originally misidentified Bear Mountain as Connecticut’s highest point. Bear Mountain is Connecticut’s highest peak; its highest point is nearby on a slope whose peak is in Massachusetts.