Dental hygiene matters

| October 23, 2015 | 0 Comments
(Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. M. Tolbert) Lt. Cmdr. A. Calvo, left, and Hospitalman T. Frasier perform a dental exam aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

(Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. M. Tolbert)
Lt. Cmdr. A. Calvo, left, and Hospitalman T. Frasier perform a dental exam aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

TRICARE
News Release
The Mayo Clinic reports that your oral health can offer clues about your overall health.

This November is National Dental Hygiene Month, so get to know your mouth and understand the connection between good oral hygiene and being healthy overall.

Research
The American Dental Association reports that in a recent study, people with serious gum disease were 40 percent more likely to have a chronic condition on top of it.

To prevent gum disease or tooth decay, practice good oral care on a daily basis.

Also, if you take medications, like decongestants or painkillers, be mindful that they can reduce the amount of saliva you produce. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. When this happens, the existing bacteria can grow excessively and lead to more serious diseases, such as periodontitis, which is a severe form of gum disease that is often painless and causes bone loss.

Good health components
The American Dental Hygienists’ Association encourages us to focus on four components of good oral health maintenance: brushing teeth twice daily, flossing every day, rinsing with antimicrobial mouth rinse and chewing sugar-free gum.

You should contact your dentist as soon as oral problems arise. TRICARE’s dental coverage is separate from its medical coverage, and your enrollment eligibility determines which dental program you can have.

The TRICARE Active Duty Dental Program (ADDP) is for active duty service members and National Guard and Reserve members activated for more than 30 consecutive days.

The TRICARE Dental Program is for eligible active duty family members, survivors, National Guard and Reserve members and their family members and members of the Individual Ready Reserve and their family members.

Lastly, the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) is for retirees and their eligible family members, as well as National Guard and Reserve members who, regardless of age, have transferred to Retired Reserve status. This includes those in the “gray area” who are under age 60 and entitled to retired pay, but might not yet be receiving it.

It’s important to keep your information current in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to know which TRICARE programs you are eligible to receive.

More Online
For information on all of TRICARE’s dental programs, you can visit the Dental Care page on the TRICARE website or download the TRICARE Dental Options Fact Sheet.
Visit www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices /Dental.aspx.

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Category: Community, Health

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