Water is an essential element of survival, which means there are countless benefits of drinking water for a person’s oral (and overall) health.
At work, you want fellow staff members to always feel refreshed and ready to do their job, so it’s a good idea for your company offer water and other nourishing food to fuel employees throughout the day. In fact, providing water to workers is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Providing water to the workforce is likely already a priority at your office, but how can you encourage colleagues to get in the habit of drinking it during the day? Here are four tips to increase your team’s water intake while they’re on the job.
1. Educate Staff on the Benefits of Drinking Water
If your fellow employees don’t know the benefits of drinking water, they’ll likely choose a different beverage to quench their thirst. While it’s known that water is a crucial element of survival, many individuals may not realize the positive impact that drinking water can also have on their oral health. Accordingly, you can educate them on some of the following key facts:
- Water keeps the mouth clean. After eating or drinking, sugar is often left behind on teeth. The residual sugar—combined with normal mouth bacteria—forms acid that can break down tooth enamel. Many foods also have natural or added acids, which can wear away at the teeth. Drinking water after meals (and throughout the day) helps to wash food and residue away and prevent cavities.
- Fluorinated water helps prevent cavities. As the American Dental Association (ADA) reports, “Drinking water with fluoride (called ‘nature’s cavity fighter’) is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities.”
- Water prevents dry mouth. Saliva also helps to keep mouths clean, so when someone experiences dry mouth, they’re at a higher risk for cavities. Regularly drinking water and staying hydrated is especially important if employees are fielding customer phone calls or leading meetings. A lot of talking can lead to dry mouth!
2. Pass Out Free Water Bottles
The easiest way to get your colleagues to drink water is to provide them with bottles or cups that they can refill with water throughout the day. To really motivate them, purchase the type of bottles that list the number of ounces on the side, so your team members can see exactly how much water they’re consuming throughout the day.
3. Send Out Daily Reminders
Even with the best intentions, your coworkers might simply forget to fill up their cups. If you want to encourage them to increase their water intake, consider scheduling automated reminders to be sent out via email. Bonus tip: Don’t send these notes out at the same time every day. If the reminders become routine, your colleagues may begin to ignore them.
4. Hold a Hydration Competition
If you’re looking for a new wellness venture, an “Increase Your Water Intake” challenge is a great way to kick-start healthy water habits in the workplace. While it’s generally understood that one should aim to drink eight ounces of water per day, as Healthline suggests, how much one should actually drink is more individualized.
Your company can work with a nutritionist to determine the amount of water each employee should drink on a daily basis. Remember that, depending on certain factors, team members will aim for different goals. The person who most consistently reaches their water consumption goal over a set period of time should be crowned the winner!
Simply encouraging staff to drink more water is all you need to do—but by taking some extra steps to educate them and supply them with the tools to succeed, you’ll help employees stay hydrated and improve their health!