Something to smile about

Would you like to be more confident? When was the last time you stared in the mirror and noticed that the person looking back at you didn’t have a flashy grin, or that those pearly whites were more reflective of Stonehenge on a bad day?

A great smile builds self-esteem, and enables you to improve attitude, personality and your financial bottom line. According to, over three quarters of consumers believe their chances of career progression are affected by healthy teeth and a nice smile.

Research highlights the value people associate with having good dental health and hygiene, which is not necessarily bad news as it shows people recognise the importance of looking after their teeth.

Nearly two thirds (64%) of employers think dental benefits improve staff morale and 48% of the employers who offer this kind of perk do so because they are concerned about the oral health of employees.

The emergence of cash plans in the employer marketplace is enjoying a revival in the UK with employees using the majority of their HCPs for dental and optical work.

According to, healthcare cash plans are proving their worth as a mature and flexible employee benefit. With healthcare spending now coming under pressure in the current economic climate, many organisations are welcoming the perk’s low price tag. There is a lot of interest in cash plans from employers looking for a cost-effective way to reward employees.

Healthcare cash plans provide cash lump sums toward a range of everyday health benefits in exchange for relatively low premiums, starting at less than £1 a week. By far the most popular benefits included in the plans are dental and optical, but options such as physiotherapy, consultations, diagnostics, and employee assistance programmes (EAPs) are also popular with employers and employees.

A cashplan can help employers cover some of their duty-of-care requirements. For example, any optical benefit can pick up the cost of eye tests and glasses for staff who use visual display units. Cash plans are treated as a benefit-in-kind and are therefore subject to tax and national insurance.

However, some employers have succeeded in obtaining an exemption from their local tax office, arguing that the premium is so small once duty-of-care benefits are removed, that it is not cost-effective to collect the tax, according to

Smiling well is a huge plus for anyone whether employed or not. Dental plans that are easily accessible, affordable and provide great savings are available in the UK. There is an available option to take advantage of at a very inexpensive rate for individuals, groups, employers, associations, guilds, unions, and others.

Dental and optical discount plans are offered by Munroe Sutton through the brand name Healthy Discounts.

Munroe Sutton was established to improve the affordability and accessibility of quality healthcare treatment in the United Kingdom. The company provides dental and vision discount plans to consumers, as well as marketing and promotion for each practitioner. Committed to superior healthcare, Munroe Sutton maintains a reputable network of dental and optical practitioners.

For more information, please call Freephone at 0808 234 3558 (Care Adviser 2905), or visit

Although the plan is relatively new in the UK, the concept has been around for decades, especially in the US health care market. Members can use the discount plan along with a cash plan if they have one to extend the savings for both dental and optical procedures. Or a discount plan can be used on its own merit to get the savings with participating locations in the provider network. Members can receive savings that more than pay for any membership fee, without having to wait or worry about using the scheme too much.

As an employee, if your company has a discount dental plan combined with a cash plan, you win! Companies who do not make the maximum use of helping their workers save money, especially for preventive dental work, are missing the boat when it comes to keeping employees well, happy and productive.

According to a report issued by Employee Benefit News in the US, dental illness is the most common of all chronic health concerns and accounts for significant loss of workforce productivity and significant health care costs.

Studies show workers who get their dental care completed and maintain good oral health do far better on the job than those who do not. Oral health reduces the chance for emergency visits and the pain and discomfort that can harm a worker’s focus and confidence. Workers, confident about their family’s health, are more focused, productive and secure.

Absenteeism for dentist visits, pain, discomfort and poor self-confidence harm production, employee confidence and quality of life across the corporate community. Reports from the last 10 years provide some detail regarding the impact of oral health on the workplace.

Preventive dental care could significantly reduce loss of productivity and catch problems before they become chronic or severe, according to

Regular dental evaluations may also reveal surprising information about seemingly unrelated health issues. Medical professionals have identified at least 120 medical symptoms that can be detected in the mouth during routine dental check-ups, including skin diseases, mental illness, diabetes, thyroid problems, leukemia, cancer or hardening of the arteries. In fact, bleeding gums, etched enamel and other tissue changes in the mouth are often the first clues to serious health problems.

Medical studies have also revealed that pregnant women with gum disease are seven times more likely to have babies that are born too early and too small.

Lost time, lack of productivity, employee health, and reduced revenues are all critical reasons to make sure that employers should encourage workers to maintain good oral health. Providing access to a quality a dental plan at affordable rates will help reduce the problems associated with employees who have problems related to poor oral health. A quality dental plan can be a valuable benefit to help keep employees at work.

So, what’s a person to do if you want to stay healthy, wealthy and wise?
Aside from listening to Ben Franklin’s advice from the 18th century about going to bed early and waking up in the morning early, get a discount dental plan and smile, smile, smile. You only have one set of real permanent teeth in your lifetime. It makes sense to keep them healthy and looking dazzling white. You’ll impress your friends, family, co-workers, and your clients.

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