3-minute read

Dogs can teach us a lot about life — unconditional love, loyalty, living for the moment. But what if the beloved family pet could show your employees a thing or two about oral health? In comparison to humans, dogs rarely get cavities. While most of the reasons are beyond a canine’s control, we can still learn a great deal from dogs about keeping our own smiles healthy.

Lesson one: Prevention
Your dog may not get to choose what goes into his kibble, but he may be getting the better end of the deal. With diets designed to keep them healthy — like ingredients that can help keep cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to their teeth — dog diets may be a step ahead of many human diets.

“Pets, in a sense, have a personal nutritionist in the form of the pet food companies, who whip up a meal for them … specifically designed to cater to their health needs.” — PatientConnect365

If our dogs are taking steps to stay healthy (whether they realize it or not), people can too. Encourage employees to create and stick to a healthy dental care routine at home and to always make regular visits to the dentist. Tell your employees to check out the preventive care section on our SmileWay® site for great tips on brushing, flossing, dentist visits and more!

Lesson two: Moderation
Just like us, our dogs’ mouths can be a breeding ground for bacteria. While the family pet may get to lick a dinner plate every once in a while, their diets are generally low in refined sugars, carbohydrates and acid, which can lead to growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

While your employees likely don’t have the luxury of having a healthy meal planned for them every night, simple diet choices can go a long way toward protecting their smiles. Make sure your employees take advantage of our nutrition tips, like these articles about smile-friendly foods and ways to moderate acid in daily diets.

Lesson three: Nature
Dogs are just built differently than humans. If you’ve ever taken a look at a dog’s teeth, you’ve probably noticed they look a lot different than yours. Dogs’ teeth are more narrow and pointy, providing less places for bacteria to hide than in our own mouths.

Because our mouths are more vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria, it’s all the more reason to practice great preventive care. It’s also important to remember that we live longer than our canine counterparts, so your employees need to be aware that their oral healthcare needs change over time. Let us help — we’ve got shareable hints for all ages from kids and teens to aging adults that can help enrollees stay healthy, whatever their age.

 

While we’ve talked about how your employees can follow in Fido’s paw prints to lessen their risk for cavities, it doesn’t mean dogs’ mouths don’t need some TLC too. Stay tuned later this month for our article about brushing your dog’s teeth.

 

Want more stories like this? Subscribe to Word of Mouth, our newsletter for benefits administrators, human resources professionals and businesses.

Are you a broker, agent or consultant? Subscribe to Insider Update, our newsletter for benefits producers.