Choosing to offer dental insurance will keep your employees happy, but did you know that decision can also boost your company’s bottom line? The healthier your employees’ mouths are, the more productive they’ll be in the workplace. That’s because, in addition to the confidence boost they feel with a killer smile, there are many reasons why proper dental care helps their overall medical health.
As well, according to a 2015 workplace benefits survey, dental insurance is one of the most highly rated benefits by employees. If you want fully engaged, actively present employees (and a better bottom line at your company), offer dental insurance in your benefits package, and encourage your staff to use their plans. Here’s why.
Confident Employees Have Radiant Smiles
A healthy smile influences not only your employees’ self-esteem, but the way they’re viewed by their peers and the world around them. Think about it: a well cared-for smile makes a great impression. If your employees interact with customers or the public on a regular basis, poor oral hygiene will affect their professionalism. Also, the more confident they feel with their physical presence, the more self-assured they’ll be in the workplace.
It doesn’t matter whether your staff is in sales, customer service or another industry — a healthy smile will create a more positive, outgoing demeanor. However, if your employees are working one-on-one with customers on a regular basis, it’s even more important for them to have a nice smile. Your customers are looking for the best treatment possible. They want to do business with people who are confident and easy to work with. The better your employees feel about themselves, the better prepared they’ll be to do their job.
Healthy Employees Are Productive Employees
Untreated dental conditions can negatively affect your company’s bottom line, especially if your employees use a lot of sick time. An estimated 164 million work hours are lost each year because of dental problems, says the American Dental Association. If your employees are missing work because of dental issues, another employee needs to cover for them, and overall output suffers. Not only are you paying employees for being absent, but you’re losing out on company productivity as well.
It’s important to note that productivity also declines when employees suffer from dental conditions in the workplace. If they show up in pain or discomfort, they’ll forge through the workday without the concentration needed to get their job done well. It may be difficult for them to pay attention to their pressing work duties when they are focusing on oral pain or related medical concerns.
Dental Health Affects Medical Health (and Vice Versa)
If an employee is diagnosed with a major illness, their medical treatments will increase your company’s plan utilization, therefore causing your rates to skyrocket during the next enrollment. Regular dental interventions can identify and treat medical issues before they begin to negatively affect your company’s health insurance costs. Preventative care is the best option for avoiding major medical and dental issues.
Encourage your staff to use their dental benefits. Not only do regular dental appointments keep your employees’ teeth and gums in great condition, but they help detect medical conditions. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry estimates that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases — including diabetes, leukemia, cancer, heart disease and kidney disease — have oral characteristics that can be detected earlier during an oral exam.
Medical issues can create or exacerbate problems in your mouth. Pregnancy can lead to dental problems, such as increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Suffering from gum disease while pregnant can in turn lead to premature birth and low birth weight. Acid reflux, a highly-diagnosed disorder, greatly wears down teeth enamel, making you more susceptible to cavities. The medicine used to treat certain illnesses may also affect dental care. Anti-inflammatory drugs can cause dry mouth and also make someone more susceptible to oral fungal infections. If your employees utilize their benefits, it can help combat these problems.
One simple way to boost your company’s bottom line is by encouraging your employees to practice preventative heath and dental care. Take steps quarterly — in an employee newsletter or reminder email, for example — to encourage your staff to use the excellent benefits available to them in their employee benefits package. You’ll get a happier and more productive workforce — and healthier bottom line — in return.