Wellness + Nutrition

Stress less and smile more with paid time off

Are you looking for a healthier work-life balance? Paid time off from work — also known as PTO — can help you achieve that balance. But did you know taking a break from work can also help your smile?

PTO is good for you.

Time away from work helps you relax. Take a break and spend time with your family without also juggling work duties. Surveys show PTO can even make you happier, healthier and a more productive employee.

People who take all or most of their PTO are:


happier with their health1


happier with their careers1



Among workers returning from PTO:


said their mood was more positive2


indicated they were more productive2


reported feeling less stressed2





People who say they are under greater stress suffer from worse oral health.

Stress has been linked to specific oral health problems, including:

• Canker and cold sores

• Teeth clenching and grinding (which can be accompanied by headaches!)

• Gum disease (since stress makes it harder to fight off infections)

• Burning mouth syndrome, which causes uncomfortable burning or tingling

Stress can also lead to these unhealthy habits:

• Nail biting, which can cause broken and misaligned teeth along with splintered tooth enamel

• Neglecting oral hygiene, like skipping brushing sessions

• Snacking on not-so-healthy foods and drinks that are hard on your teeth



Many workers don’t take all of their PTO.

Even though 76% of workers in privately owned companies receive paid time off, many leave unused PTO on the table.3

Among workers with PTO:


don't use all of their PTO4                                                                                              

768 million

days of PTO a year go unused5                                                                                         


of workers say they still do some work during time off6                      



Workers who plan ahead use more PTO.

Remember PTO is part of your overall compensation. You’ve earned it!

Of workers who say they are likely to use all of their PTO:


plan it out in advance7


don't plan it out in advance7



Planning ahead doesn't have to mean leaving town. Almost a quarter (24%) of employees said their longest time away from work in the previous year was a staycation.With nothing on your agenda, a staycation lets you relax, focus on self-care and go outside to get some sunshine. Plus, they are stress-free to plan and can help you save money.

No matter how you spend your time off, avoid bringing work with you when possible to allow yourself to fully relax and recharge.

There’s another way PTO can benefit oral health. Take time to visit your dentist when you can. Your checkup includes a cleaning and an exam that can reveal oral and overall health issues early, when they are easier and less expensive to treat.