Dentist talking to patient

Encourage Employees to Establish Good Oral Health Habits

Healthy gums and teeth are vital to overall well-being. If your company offers a dental plan to employees, urge them to use their dental benefits.

Taking care of our teeth helps ensure social satisfaction, eating, playing and being part of a greater community. When people suffer from chronic tooth pain or lose teeth, they tend to isolate themselves and withdraw from society. With preventive oral health care, the risk for bone loss attributed to periodontal disease, infection and pain is reduced.

Additionally, there is a proven connection between oral health and overall health. Uncontrolled diabetes, for example, can lead to bone loss around teeth and premature tooth loss. Poor oral health may also be related to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and for pregnant women, outcomes such as low birthweight babies and premature deliveries.

Encouraging employees to keep up with their children’s dental appointments is also important. Encourage your employees to start early intervention with their children’s’ dental providers, ideally with the first visit before age 1, although it’s never too late to get started with dental care.

Individuals can prevent dental disease by eating well and removing plaque and bacteria through regular brushing, flossing and dental visits. But even with good oral care, people can still get cavities or have periodontal disease, and systemic health issues may trump best dental practices. There will always be a need for professional dental care.

Employers can play a role in encouraging good oral health and early prevention. If you create a culture where it’s advisable for employees to take time to get their teeth cleaned or take care of other preventive health issues, then employees are more likely to take care of themselves. They’re also less likely to need emergent care, which can increase costs.

Learn more about encouraging your employees to take care of their oral health needs in this Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar hosted by Dr. Lisa Knowles, a dentist at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll also find past sessions and resources.

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Photo credit: ronstik

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