From flossing our teeth to taking our vitals, healthcare professionals encourage us to live healthier lives. But are nurses, doctors and dieticians skimping on their smiles? The good and bad of their oral and overall health:
- No dental visit in the past year: Healthcare workers are no better than the average American, according to JAMA Internal Medicine.
- Tobacco use: Healthcare professionals are just as likely as non-healthcare workers to use cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. And unfortunately for your smile, tobacco stains your teeth and can cause oral cancer.
- Overweight and obese: Not only is obesity prevalent in America, it’s a theme within the nursing industry. One study found 48% of nurses to be either overweight or obese.
- Routine brushing: 95% of healthcare workers reported brushing their teeth at least twice a day, according to a 2015 study.
- Healthy behaviors within specialties: In a study comparing nursing and dental students, the dental students were more likely to seek dental care before experiencing pain. They also exhibited better oral health behaviors than nursing students.
Whether you’re in the healthcare industry or not, we must bridge the gap between knowing and doing. Learning healthy habits is half the battle, but we must act to achieve a fit lifestyle.