Why Dental Benefits Matter to Employee Wellness
June is Employee Well-Being Month
Dental benefits and employee wellness go hand in hand. Most dental plans promote preventive care and good oral health habits, which can improve an employee's overall health. By investing in employee health through offering dental coverage and other health benefits, companies can improve employee productivity and reduce costs associated with health care.
Dental insurance is the third most requested employee benefit, behind medical insurance and retirement plans.1 More than 80 percent of employees think dental coverage is an important part of a benefits package,2 and offering dental benefits may tip the scales when a prospective employee is trying to decide among company offers.
Studies show that people with dental benefits are more likely to visit the dentist regularly and report having good overall health. Dental visits can help prevent, detect and manage oral health diseases. Therefore, employers are more likely to have healthier employees who are able to contribute more when they are at work.
On a positive note, a Delta Dental of Illinois survey found that the vast majority of Americans aren't taking time away from the office due to oral health issues. It indicates people in the workforce are having fewer oral health issues and taking better care of their teeth. In 2016, more than one-quarter (28 percent) of adults in the workforce cited missing work due to oral health issues. This year, that number has dropped a full seven percentage points, to 21 percent.
Providing dental benefits not only attracts the best talent, but it also ensures that your employees remain healthy and provide your company with the best they have to offer. As a reminder, Delta Dental of Illinois provides companies with a variety of resources that can help encourage good oral health habits among employees. Delta Dental of Illinois offers LifeSmile, an employee wellness program with a variety of communications materials that can be tailored to your company's needs.
These materials include email campaigns, preventive care reminders, posters and flyers, monthly oral health articles in both English and Spanish, oral health brochures and more. Delta Dental of Illinois can even provide an in-person presentation for your employees on a variety of oral health topics by our dental director.
Share the following videos with employees to help them better understand their dental benefits:
Help employees take good care of their oral health at any stage with these flyers:
In addition to a home routine, Delta Dental of Illinois recommends the following tips to help employees stay on top of their oral health while at work:
- Keep a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss stored at your desk just in case you need an after-lunch tooth touch up.
- It can be easy to reach for a sugary snack for an afternoon pick me up. Try to keep healthy snacks readily available at work, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and cheese.
- Drink plenty of water. Keep a water bottle at your desk to keep your body hydrated and to swish around your mouth after eating.
- Work can get stressful, which can cause you to clench or grind your teeth. When you start to get stressed, try to take a minute to clear your mind, take a few slow, deep breaths and relax.
2 The Long Group and Delta Dental Plans Association.