Are you helping your people look after their teeth? Most professionals recognise how important overall health and wellbeing are for keeping their teams happy and productive, but you might not realise how much of a role good oral health can play.
Preventable oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease cost Australian businesses around one million work days every year.1 This adds up to about $2 billion in direct costs and productivity losses.1
The good news: there are some easy ways you can encourage your employees to look after their teeth and gums. Follow these four steps for a tooth-friendly workplace.
Provide drinking water
You might already have a water cooler, but do you encourage your staff to use it? Send out a newsletter or put up posters to remind everyone of the benefits of drinking water over other beverages – it’s calorie-free and great for your teeth!
Tap water tends to be better for your oral health than most bottled water – it usually contains more fluoride, which is a safe and efficient way to reduce tooth decay.2
Offer healthy snacks
It’s best to avoid snacking between meals, but if you’re celebrating an office birthday, retirement or just helping your team unwind, there are lots of teeth-friendly alternatives to sugary snacks.
Fresh fruit, nuts and cheese provide valuable nutrients and encourage saliva production, which helps combat plaque.
Encourage tooth brushing at work
It’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day. For most people, this means after waking up and before going to bed. But brushing after meals can reduce your risk of oral health problems too.
Your staff might not be used to brushing their teeth at work, but you can encourage them to get into good habits by offering suggestions. People are more likely to brush at work when they keep a toothbrush at their desk rather than bringing one from home, and they can store it in a travel case to reduce bacteria build-up.
Take advantage of oral health campaigns
August is Dental Health Month in Australia, so there’s no better time to kick-start your healthier workplace. Campaigns like Dental Health Month often have material and advice that you can leverage.
For more info on Dental Health Month, head here.
1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the University of Adelaide. Oral health and dental care in Australia: key facts and figures [Online] 2015 [Accessed Jul 2017] Available from: www.aihw.gov.au
2 National Health and Medical Research Council. Water fluoridation and human health in Australia [Online] 2017 [Accessed Jul 2017] Available from: www.nhmrc.gov.au