Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, and a healthy smile can certainly enhance your appearance. Still, most people don’t give their teeth much thought until they have a problem. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that gum disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to oral health, these dental issues are mostly preventable.
A great way to help your colleagues stay on top of their oral health is to host a dental wellness day at the office! If you’re looking to coordinate an event like this for your organization, here are some tips for making it a success.
It’s important to choose a day (and time) for the event that will allow as many individuals as possible to attend. Avoid scheduling near holidays and during seasons when a lot of team members take vacations.
Plan far enough in advance that you can invite the appropriate speakers and have enough time to order any materials and handouts that will enhance the learning experience. The American Dental Association’s website offers educational pamphlets on various dental topics, which you can distribute at the event.
Marketing Is Key
A big part of planning your wellness day will be communicating the details to your fellow employees and enticing them to attend! Mass emails, bulletin board announcements and event reminders stuffed in paycheck envelopes can all be used to get the word out.
You can also encourage attendance by raffling off some prizes, such as a dental hygiene basket that includes things like an electric toothbrush, a pack of soft-bristled manual brushes, fluoride toothpaste, floss, flossing aids and nonalcoholic mouthwash. You can round out the basket by adding a workplace dental kit along with wholesome snacks—such as apples and packages of peanuts or other goodies—that won’t damage teeth. Make sure you advertise all these offerings to your coworkers ahead of time in order to generate interest.
Bring in the Professionals
Dentists and their staff often do patient education programs at schools, so ask a local dental professional if they would be willing to present some basic dental health information to your colleagues. While everyone says they brush and floss, quite a few people could probably use a refresher on the correct technique.
Who better to stress the importance of preventing dental disease through regular check-up visits and cleanings than a dentist? If your dental plan has an orthodontic benefit, you may also want to invite an orthodontist to field questions about braces and the pros and cons of the various types available.
Dental Plan Review
An important factor that helps your fellow employees (and their families) keep their teeth and gums healthy is your company’s dental plan. Unfortunately, many people may not know how to use the plan or fully understand the benefits it provides. Your dental wellness day is the perfect time to review the plan by going over the coverage for various procedures like cleanings, fillings, root canals and replacement teeth.
You’ll want to include information on limitations and exclusions as well as deductibles, copays, yearly maximums and waiting periods. Although someone in your organization may have a good understanding of the dental procedures that the company plan covers, it’s probably best to invite someone from the insurance company to answer specific questions. Be sure to have a lot of plan booklets on hand so team members can follow along during the presentation and take them home for future reference. If your plan uses a network of providers, it’s a good idea to include a list of participating dentists.
Educating employees on the importance of taking care of their teeth, showing them how to best do it and reviewing their dental plan will go a long way in helping them avoid a preventable oral issue. Although this may be the first dental wellness day your company offers, hopefully, it won’t be the last!
Looking for more information around helping your colleagues manage their dental benefits? Explore the offerings contained within United Concordia Dental’s Employer Toolkit.