Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body, Successful Business (Video)
Would you believe me if I told you that there is a connection between your oral health and your overall health? Yes, a healthy mouth equals a healthy body and a healthy employee. Our mouths can house all sorts of bacteria from the air we inhale, the foods we eat, and anything else that makes its way into this entry point.
If you stop and think about it, our mouths really are the doorway into the rest of our body.
While this bacteria is mostly harmless, some can grow and cause disease. Companies have the ability to educate their employees on the seriousness of oral health and to provide preventative measures as a way to keep employees healthy, to reduce yearly insurance premiums, and ultimately save the company money.
What happens if this bacteria gets out of control?¹
If oral health falls to the wayside employees become at risk of developing:
- Periodontal disease, aka gum disease
- Oral and facial pain
- Oral and pharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancers
Even worse, if any of these progress, gum disease, other medical conditions may develop outside of the mouth:
- Endocarditis, an infection of the lining of your heart
- Heart disease
- Pneumonia, or other respiratory diseases
- In pregnant women, premature birth and low birth weight
What do companies need to do?
1 -Assess how many people are actually using their benefits? You might be surprised to find out that all of your employees visit the dentist regularly.
2- Educate your employees on the negative consequences that poor oral health can have on overall health. Educate them, on what their dental plan covers and provide a list of in-network dentists. This has been found to be very important information to employees but only half of employees say that their employer is a good resource in helping them to understand their benefits.²
3- Promote regular dental screenings and utilization of their twice annually check-ups.
These routine examinations and cleanings are what will save both the employee and the employer money and time in the long run, through improved oral health and therefore improved overall health.
How to encourage greater use of benefits?
It may seem obvious, but besides providing education, simply offer better benefits. The upfront costs will outweigh the costs in the long run if more serious complications were to occur.
Fully cover two cleanings per year, expand your overall coverage, waive deductibles for preventative services, and exclude them from being applied toward the plan’s annual maximum allowance.
Provide employee motivation and morale through wellness programs that include dental hygiene. Use tracking systems, such as a web and mobile apps that allows employees to keep track of dental visits. Most importantly, continue to provide consistent and clear information to remind everyone of the importance of oral health and what their benefits have to offer.
Keep your employees happy and healthy with a few simple changes. Dental coverage should no longer be overlooked. Improve the health of your employees and your company today.