Does Bad Oral Hygiene Affect the Workplace?

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Do you remember when you were kids and your parents keep reminding you to brush your teeth before going to bed and to floss at least once a day? As we grow older, we get to be responsible for ourselves. Our parents will stop reminding us to brush our teeth and go to the dentist if there’s a dental problem. They expect us to know these things because hey, didn’t we say we’re now grown-ups?

Still, a study made in 2016 in Singapore found that one in three Singaporeans aged 60 and above are toothless. That’s 31% of that age group. This number is considerably higher than in other developed nations. The threshold was at 17% to 20% of the same age group.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 27% of adults have tooth decay and a whopping 75% of people aged 30 years old and over have some form of gum disease. This only meant that there is no assurance grown-ups know what they have to do for their dental health. And while no one knows your body better than you, not taking care of your oral health also has an impact on the workplace. It’s time to be more conscious of how you take care of your teeth and gums.

It Distracts From Your Competence

Imagine someone so well-put while wearing a crisp suit and presenting a report in the boardroom. Looks good, right? Now, imagine that same person wearing a well-tailored suit, but you suddenly got distracted when that person smiled at the people in the room. Not because this person has a smile like that of a celebrity, but because he has bad teeth. He has stains on the teeth that his tailored suit can’t distract you from.

Now, take a look at your own set of teeth. When was the last time you were in a dental clinic? Fortunately, there is a solution to teeth stains. You can whiten your teeth and have this problem go away in an instance. You will feel more confident in presenting reports and facing your bosses and clients. Bad teeth distract your listeners from your competence. Instead of focusing on what you’re saying, they would focus on how your teeth look.

It Gives Your Colleagues Something to Talk About

As superficial as it may sound, people are going to talk behind your back if you have, for example, halitosis. It’s a chronic bad breath that a simple mint gum can’t solve. Halitosis requires the person to build a healthy dental hygiene routine. You need to brush your teeth regularly using toothpaste with fluoride. Make sure that it has antibacterial properties that can reduce bad breath odors.

Flossing will also help control the occurrence of bad breath. So unless you want to give your colleagues something to talk about, you should be conscious of how your breath smells. If a simple fluoride toothpaste can’t control it, you should visit your dentist for some solutions.

It Affects Your Productivity

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Bad oral hygiene can lead to a lot of illnesses such as heart diseases, strokes, and diabetes. Facing these medical conditions will force you to take leave from work for a doctor’s appointment. It will affect your productivity and the goals you set out to achieve in your position. Absenteeism at work can make you lose opportunities for promotion. It will also make you less reliable.

Toothache and tooth decay have a much wider impact than what you see. Growing evidence points out that these could be the culprit to a range of heart diseases. If you’re not careful, you could be facing more serious health problems.

The Role of Your Workplace

While it is generally your obligation to yourself to keep your teeth and gums healthy, there’s something your employers need to do, too. First, if the business can, they should provide dental insurance coverage. Second, they need to encourage their employees to take advantage of this benefit. Third, they should stock the pantry and the vending machines with water, yogurt, non-sugary foods, cheese, and sugarless mint gums. And finally, employers can add toothpaste and floss in the restrooms, as well as implement a no-smoking policy in the workplace.

It is no secret that industries are overly competitive. If you want nothing on your way to get to the top, that means focusing on every aspect of how you present yourself. Perfecting your roles and responsibilities is not the only thing that matters. You also have to carry and present yourself well to your bosses, clients, and colleagues.

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