Nine out of 10 employees claim that having bad teeth negatively affect their confidence in both the workplace and social situations, according to new research.
The survey, carried out by Unum Dental, found that despite these concerns, less than half of employees (46 per cent) visited their dentist twice a year.
Over a third of employees said the cost of potential treatment was the main barrier to routine dental care, while fear of pain or discomfort was the second biggest barrier — cited by 24 per cent of respondents.
A further 15 per cent of employees said that found it difficult to take time off work for routine dental appoints.
However, the survey found that employees were more likely to go for regular check-ups if their employer provided dental insurance.
Unum Dental managing director Andrew Bower says: “As we mark the beginning of National Smile Month, we should acknowledge the role that oral health plays in the well-being and confidence of employees.
“Offering dental insurance and encouraging regular dental appointments are tangible ways for employers to show they take well-being support for their employees seriously.”
He pointed out that recent research claimed that oral health problems costs the UK economy more than £105 million each year in sick days.
Company dental insurance can help reduce the cost of check-ups and treatment, and can be a valued employee benefits. A study conducted by Unum last year found it was more highly valued among UK workers than a share save scheme or discounted gym members.
Regular check-ups help identify more serious issues like oral cancer and help prevent problems associated with gum disease like periodontitis.