Today is World Heart Day and increasingly, studies are linking oral health to general health and wellbeing, with a recent particular focus on cardiovascular diseases.
What your mouth reveals about your health
What does the health of your mouth have to do with your overall health? In a word, plenty. A look inside your mouth can tell your dentist volumes about what’s going on inside your body.
We often take our oral health for granted, and many people don’t even think about it until pain strikes. Keeping your teeth clean isn’t just about presenting the world with a beautiful smile! The condition of your mouth is actually a gateway to the health of your entire body, with over 300 diseases detectable in the mouth. Recently, research published in the Journal of Dental Research, found that people with untreated tooth infections are 2.7 times more likely to have cardiovascular problems and as cardiovascular diseases contribute to nearly a third of all deaths globally, the Oral Health Foundation is highlighting the importance of seeing a dentist regularly.*
Prevention is better than cure
Preventative dental care and the benefits it can bring to many aspects of life, are at the heart of what we do. Our Find a Dentist tool means employees have convenient access to a dentist located close to their work place, while our Denplan Discount Network means we have a network of almost 2,000 dentists offering extra discounts.
Keeping dentally fit really isn’t that difficult or expensive and it can make a huge difference in how people feel about themselves. A healthy mouth and a healthy body go hand in hand, reducing the risk of serious disease in later life. The suggestion is simple: by improving our oral health, we can be less susceptible to other diseases. For more tips and information on links between oral health and general wellbeing, download our 2016 Smileguide.
To find out more about dental plans from Denplan, call us on 01962 827 008.
When you first attempt to go sugar-free it can be quite difficult to beat the sugar cravings. Sometimes this results in falling off the wagon and giving into a sugar binge, which is never a good thing.
Fizzy drinks are all too easy to consume without realising just how much sugar they contain. Did you know just one can of Coca Cola contains a whopping 35 grams or 7 teaspoons of sugar?* Your best bet here is to go cold turkey and turn to water or unsweetened tea, but if you want something a bit more exciting, try opting for fizzy water with a glug of fruit juice, or soda water with lime.
Sugary treats are sometimes unavoidable in the workplace, especially with so many birthdays to celebrate. Check out our sugar-free muffin recipe which is made with Xylitol, a much better sugar substitute with great dental benefits. If you like to start the day with a bowl of sugar loaded cereal, you’ll find you stay full longer with a bowl of porridge topped with mixed berries.
For more ideas on swapping your favourite sugary treats for tasty snacks that don’t taste like cardboard, check out our sugar-free swaps fact sheet.
New research reveals the damage that the workplace tea round could be having on our oral health.
Workplace tea rounds could be a hidden health hazard as new research has revealed that one in 10 Brits are adding a spoonful of sugar to their tea at least three times a day, putting both their oral health and general wellbeing at risk.
According to the research we recently carried out, 11% of sweet-toothed Brits believe the root cause of their excess sugar consumption is the temptation of the humble tea round. One in 10 (9%) people surveyed admit that they drink tea with sugar at least three times a day and a further 8% admit to drinking at least three daily coffees sweetened with sugar.
Even those who believe they’re going for the healthy option could be misunderstood, as one in five don’t think that fruit smoothies contained any sugar, despite recent research showing that smoothies stocked by major supermarkets contain over five teaspoons of the sweet ingredient.
Those that tuck into a tea time treat with their cuppa are particularly vulnerable to exceeding the recommend daily allowance (RDA) of sugar. Over a fifth (22%) consider sugar laden office biscuits responsible for their consumption of added sugar, with a further 19% admitting that they knowingly consume sugar by snacking throughout the working day.
3pm appears to be a heightened time for sugar sinning, with 17% of people admitting that this is when they give into cravings for sweet stuff. Post-work drinks are also contributing to the problem. Almost a third of people surveyed don’t realise their post-work pint or glass of wine contains sugar, yet, one in 10 say that they drink these twice week
ly. A further 48% are unaware that spirits are sugary.
Worried about the lack of knowledge surrounding sugar consumption, we are are urging you and your fellow employees to go sugar free for 30 days by taking part in our Sugar-Free September campaign.
 Onepoll survey of 2,000 participants conducted in February 2016
This Thursday marks the beginning of Denplan’s Sugar-Free September and there’s just no sugar-coating it ― as a nation we consume far more sugar than advised and it’s having a huge impact on our oral and overall health. So we’re encouraging you and your employees to join us in going sugar-free this September.
From a dental perspective, it’s worth noting that it’s how often you eat sugar throughout the day that causes tooth decay, rather than how much. With that in mind, we wonder how much sugar employees are consuming as part of their office tea rounds, and how much do they know about sugar alternatives?
We conducted some research and here were our key findings:
- 1 in 10 Brits are adding a spoonful of sugar to their tea at least three times a day, putting both their oral health and general wellbeing at risk.
- 1 in 5 Brits don’t think that fruit smoothies contained any sugar, despite recent research showing that smoothies stocked by major supermarkets contain over five teaspoons of the sweet ingredient
- Over a fifth (22%) consider sugar laden office biscuits responsible for their consumption of added sugar1.
- 3pm appears to be a heightened time for sugar sinning, with 17% of people admitting that this is when they give into cravings for sweet stuff1.
The lack of knowledge surrounding sugar consumption is worrying, so we’re urging employees to visit our Sugar-Free September site, http://www.sugar-free-september.co.uk, designed to encourage and support transitioning to a sugar-free lifestyle. Encourage your employees by holding a sugar-free bake sale, or hold a competition for Best Sugar-Free recipe. Awareness is key, so download your posters today!
 Onepoll survey of 2,000 participants conducted in February 2016
With health and wellbeing objectives firmly on the HR agenda, employers across the UK are starting to look beyond price when picking their benefits. They are focusing on what intermediaries and providers can deliver in line with the health and wellbeing strategies: preventive solutions in particular.
Luke Kennelly, Corporate Marketing Leader, says:
“Based on findings from our annual Health and Wellbeing Survey, we found that now more than ever, employers have a strong focus on implementing and delivering health and wellbeing strategies. At the heart of this is an inclination to include benefits that will genuinely enhance employee wellbeing, while still offering good value for money. Companies value the service provided by brokers more than last year and certainly acknowledge that negotiating better rates are among their strengths. They also suggest that bringing with them skills that don’t exist within the organisation is helpful, suggesting that value may be added in areas such as benefits understanding and communications. If brokers can therefore work with providers on benefit delivery as much as the cost, they can truly add value for their client.”
With this in mind, we teamed up with Health Insurance Daily to produce a definitive guide to dental plans. With articles focusing on many aspects from reducing absenteeism to using employee communications to increase take-up, The Definitive Guide to Dental Plans hopes to be an informative resource for intermediaries. The guide is available to download, or if you’d rather a printed copy, get in touch and we’ll pop one in the post!
In association with Yougov we have conducted our seventh annual Health and Wellbeing benefits survey to give insight to key trends and gather substantial information on the employee benefits market. Our report unveils opinions from both employees and employers about the benefits offered by questioning people from companies of various sizes. The report also examines employers’ benefit strategies and any changes over the past few years, alongside any planned changes for the year ahead.
Topics include the influence level of each benefit on attracting and retaining employees, the factors companies and employees review when considering their health and wellbeing benefits and the methods used by companies to research benefit options and their perceptions of brokers
This weekend, Team Denplan took on one of our biggest charity challenges to date: The National Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for the Make a Wish Foundation. A team of 18 walkers (dentists and Denplan staff alike) with the support of their 2 ground control, 2 guides and 2 minibus drivers, took on the challenge of ascending and descending The Three Peaks: Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England and Ben Nevis in Scotland. All in just 24 hours.
Swapping blazers for wet gear, and Louboutin’s for walking boots, our team were awake at 5am Saturday morning, and started the ascent of Snowdon in the pouring rain. If they thought that doing this in July would save them from the British weather, they were wrong. It was pouring with rain, and it was freezing.
One thing became clear very quickly: although everyone had trained, this was more of a challenge than anyone could have predicted. Literally, this was NOT a walk in the park! The ascent was described as “the stairway to hell”.
Having climbed and descended Snowdon and had a hot chicken sandwich provided by their amazing Ground Control support crew, it was time to get back onto the minibus, for the drive to Scafell Pike. Catching forty winks on the mini-bus was the plan, but turned out a bumpy and noisy drive was not conducive for a good kip.
Up and down Scafell Pike, and taking in some beautiful views, sure, but by now people were flagging. More sandwiches, and back on the minibuses for a five hour drive to Scotland. That’s three countries in 18 hours! Even just the travelling is exhausting, let alone literally having to climb a mountain in country! Arriving at Ben Nevis at 2am, they were chucked out of the mini-bus, wet gear back on, head torches on, and a third mountain to climb. In the pouring rain and wind. Of course.
Needless to say, they did it because it had to get done. Ben Nevis certainly wasn’t a picnic. Arriving back at 7am the next morning, soaked through to the bone, they were greeted with a gin and tonic and a more than welcome breakfast in Wetherspoons!
So, how did they stay motivated, I guess you’re asking?
Well, as well as jelly babies, sweets and 90’s hip hop rap, Ground Control had prepared them goody bags. Inside were massagers, pillow spray, foot spray, phone chargers and
treats. But as well as all that, they were each given a card to remind them of why they were doing this.
So far, Team Denplan have raised over £4,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants children and young adults fighting life threatening conditions their own magical wish. Wishes can be anything from bedroom make-overs to walking with dinosaurs (hey, they’re can do ANYTHING).
Make-A-Wish have been granting wishes to sick children for 30 years. Their story started with a young boy called Anthony. In 1986, Anthony was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, meaning he would have to undergo 6 weeks of radiotherapy treatment. Having been told he only had one more Christmas, his family set about to make it the best.
After Christmas, the family carried on as normally as possible The community were raising money for a local girl who had a stomach tumour – Anthony and his family went along to the fundraiser, unaware that their lives were about to be changed forever.
Make-A-Wish had only been founded in the UK in 1986, and had yet to grant its first wish. Volunteers went to the Liverpool fundraiser and met Anthony and his family – they knew that they had to help this special boy.
Anthony’s greatest wish was to go to Disneyland. And after months of pain and suffering, Anthony became their first ever wish child, jetting off to Disneyland in Orlando, Florida for the most magical experience of his life.
The family enjoyed an absolutely amazing week in Florida. But whilst the children enjoyed themselves, Tony and Ann were gathering memories as they prepared for the worst.
However, months passed and Anthony seemed to be pulling through. Every day he seemed to be getting stronger. As Anthony’s condition stabilised, it became clear that he could defy the doctor’s expectations. Amazingly, all of the family’s wishes seemed to be coming true – tough little Anthony would not only survive past the 12 months but live to become an adult and uncle.
Unfortunately, not every child has the same happy ending as Anthony. Hannah is a nurse on the Children’s Oncology Ward art Southampton General Hospital. Hannah said of Make-A-Wish: “Sadly some of the children we refer are palliative. In these cases we are very aware that sometimes a wish is the last chance a family will have to spend quality time together. Make-A-Wish are able to grant wishes for these children in a timely manner – so they are able to make special memories whilst they’re still well enough to enjoy them.”
The memories created by this foundation are priceless. So having read their reminder cards, armed with jelly babies and chicken sandwiches, Team Denplan’s motivation and inspiration came from nurses like Hannah, and fundraisers, but mainly from the children themselves. If children as young as 3 can be brave enough to fight life-threatening diseases, then Team Denplan can climb some mountains to make that
fight a little easier, to bring a smile to their and their families’ faces, and to create lasting and magical memories.
And with that in mind, we are asking for your donation. Please visit our fundraising page and give as much or as little as you can: every penny really does count.
Thank you all, from a still slightly aching Team Denplan.