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Should You Subsidize Your Employees' Dental Plans?

Should You Subsidize Your Employees' Dental Plans?
From Recruiter - August 31, 2016

As the issue of employee wellnessgains more attention form corporate leaders, investing in employee health has become more important than ever. Thanks to evidence that suggests that employee well-being is tied to commercial successlike a recentEdenred studythat found97 percent of employers agree that good health is linked tobusiness outcomesmore employers are feeling increased pressure to support employee wellness.

One often overlooked aspect of employee health is oral hygienewhich many of us arent great at. In fact, a quarter of Britsand about a third of Americans do not brush the recommended twice per day. Are too many of us neglecting our oral health?

In the last ten years, there has been a flood of research linking poor oral health to far more serious issues. Research shows that inflammation may be thelink between poor oral health and associated conditions. Chronic inflammation of the mouth is damaging to cells and the DNA they contain. Gum disease leads to the seal of the tooth loosening, and each time you brush, bacteria is pushed further into the body and inflammation is triggered.

Poor oral health can actually be deadlyit has been linked to heart disease and cancer.

Dental Care and the Workplace

You may not realize it, but your employees dental problems are your problem, too. For example, business in the UK lost an estimated 36.6 million($47.8 million) in 2014 as a result of employees taking off time to deal with dental problems.

Furthermore, people who suffer from poor oral health dont just run the risk of developing serious health problems.Tooth decay and subsequent tooth loss cancripple a persons self-confidence. This lack of confidence is seen to have a detrimental impact on peoples careers. A survey by the British Dental Associationfound that 62 percent of people felt that individuals with visibly decayed teeth, missing teeth, or bad breath could miss out on jobs as result. Six in ten participants said that tooth decay can hinder promotion prospects.

Jamie Newlands of the Berkeley Clinic,a Glasgow-based dental implant practice, is clear about how poor oral health impacts his patients lives: My patients visit with their confidence shaken due to severe decay, but [they] have avoided check-ups and treatment due to the perceived cost.

Newlands adds that a subsidized service would encourage patients to seek help before health and well-being problems escalate.

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