Oral diseases are among the most common diseases in the world. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 estimated that oral diseases affected half of the world’s population (3.58 billion people). It also stated that ‘there is a direct correlation between dental health and overall health’.
Our eyes have been named the window to the soul and our mouth is regarded as the gateway to the body. By addressing the oral and optical health and wellbeing of employees, an organisation can demonstrate its commitment to a healthy working environment and in turn, make a worthwhile and lasting contribution to society.
An ageing population is one of the success stories of modern society. Medical advances, improved diet, living conditions and better healthcare have resulted in the rapid growth of older people. People are entering the so called ‘silver circle’ at 55 and keeping and retaining their teeth for longer.
As a result, teeth require more maintenance. Also at around the age of 40, most people begin to experience a condition called presbyopia. Presbyopia, or the ‘hardening of your eyes’ lenses, makes it harder for you to focus on objects that are too close. We require attention to vision and dental health as we age across the life course.
Ageing adults tend to require increasingly complex dental treatments and are often more prone to contracting certain diseases and sometimes find it challenging to keep up with daily oral health practices. When problems occur in the mouth, they can cause difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking and smiling. These are basic functions which can affect both physical and social wellbeing.
Medications prescribed for other diseases can adversely affect a person’s oral and vision health and a decline in oral health can worsen existing conditions (such as diabetes), or even cause systemic inflammation.
Dental and vision benefits and employee wellness are very much linked. Optical and oral are also closely linked. The mouth, head and neck connection are all connected through the trigeminal facial nerve. Its three divisions reach to the eye and our upper and lower jaws.
The human eyes are among the smallest organs in the entire body. They are, however, two of the most important organs to many people, since sight is the sense that humans tend to rely on most. Most dental cover promotes preventive care and good oral health habits, which improve an employee’s overall health.
By investing in employee health through offering dental coverage, a company can improve employee productivity and reduce costs associated with dental or health care over a life course. Regular preventive dental exams, provided through dental insurance, can reduce lost working hours by identifying and treating problems earlier, while visits to the dentist can help prevent, detect and manage disease.
By offering vision and dental insurance, a company is more likely to have healthier employees who are in a stronger position to make a significant contribution while they are at work. It ensures that your employees remain healthy and provide your company with the best they have to offer. Regular optical and oral health exams can help detect dental or medical conditions before they become serious and more time-consuming to treat.
Studies show that people with insurance are more inclined to visit the dentist regularly than those without cover. Providing insurance isn’t just an incentive run by an organisation to appear more attractive to employees. It can actually have a beneficial and longstanding impact on an employee’s overall health and quality of living over a lifetime. By offering benefits, a company is proving its commitment to the health of its employees. It is also investing in them as the future of the business. By creating this culture, an organisation can enhance its capabilities in recruiting and retaining the best talent.
Making oral and optical health and wellbeing an important part of your company’s working environment can make employees feel valued and satisfied. They play an instrumental role in keeping the workplace culture alive and thriving through regular interactions with coworkers and management.
DeCare is proud and committed to play a critical role in this development as the only dedicated dental, vision and wellness specialist provider in Ireland.
Click here for more information on DeCare’s Dental and Vision benefits, as well as our Wellness programmes.