A poll, commissioned as part of the National Smile Month campaign, has found that 1 in 20 working Brits have taken time off work in the last year due to oral health problems.
This is costing the UK economy more than £105 million each year in sick days.
The charity estimates that we have missed more than 1.2 million days of work in the last year, with one day off costing the economy on average £82.86.
Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, says:
“Bad habits such as irregular brushing and sugary diets are contributing to around three in every ten UK adults suffering regular dental pain and tooth decay. It is therefore inevitable that significant numbers of people are taking sick days off work and damaging the productivity of the UK economy.
“One of the major problems we are continually faced with at work is an excess of sugar, and a snacking culture has become commonplace. Cake culture and unhealthy options of high sugar foods and drinks in vending machines and canteens are not only contributing to oral health problems but major issues with health overall, with increased levels of diabetes and obesity.
“By increasing education about sugar and supplying employees with healthier alternatives, there is an excellent opportunity that would benefit both employers and employees.”