Company bosses judge employees on oral hygiene but don’t always take care of their own, AXA PPP Healthcare research has found.
The provider found 44% of senior decision-makers surveyed in SMEs admit unsightly teeth or bad breath would adversely affect promotion prospects, regardless of ability.
Nearly half (48%) agree poor dental health or hygiene would have a negative effect on their decision to do business with someone.
But, they are more forgiving with their own teeth: 30% never floss and 27% haven't seen a dentist in the past year, while 31% either rarely (18%) or never (13%) check their teeth before a big business meeting - with men almost twice as likely as women to forget.
Dr John Burke, from AXA PPP healthcare, commented: "These findings should be a wakeup call to the 24 million people in the UK who work for SMEs.
"The suggestion that people are suffering career or business setbacks because of bad teeth or poor oral health is alarming.
"Good oral health and smiling are fundamental to wellbeing and employers who help their employees to look after their dental health can gain in a number of ways - with fewer workers being distracted by toothache or having to take time off for urgent trips to the dentist."
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