It might surprise you, but a quarter of adults in the UK have not visited a dentist in the last two years[i], and 1 in 4 admit they don’t brush their teeth twice a day[ii]. Good oral health and regular dental check ups are essential to healthy teeth and gums. And it’s not just about having a dazzling smile. A trip to the dentist can identify early symptoms of serious problems such as mouth cancer or gum disease – something that’s been linked to bowel cancer, diabetes and even heart problems.[iii]
Encouraging good habits
Anything you can do to encourage regular check ups and a healthy oral routine has to be good. Especially when you consider that 1 in 20 people in the UK took time off work last year because of dental health problems. That equates to 1.2 million lost working days.[iv]
Yet only 6 out of 10 employers allow their staff to visit a dentist during work hours, without losing pay.[v] On top of this, affordability is definitely an issue. In a recent study, 40%[vi] of employees said the cost of seeing a dentist put them off going, but almost half would go more regularly if their employer provided a dental plan.
The number of employers offering dental insurance has more than doubled since 2009. It seems they’re catching on to the fact that by encouraging employees to visit a dentist regularly, there are far-reaching benefits, not just for the employee but for their business too:
- Creating easier and affordable access to a dentist
- Reducing employee absence due to dental problems
- Preventing more serious conditions developing by identifying them sooner
- Helping to ensure employees feel motivated and valued
- Helping staff retention and employee engagement
- Boosting productivity
If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of encouraging good dental health, take a look at our infographic.
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[iv] Oral Health Foundation 2017