News | April 27, 2021

TRICARE Dental Program Offers Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth

By TRICARE Communications

Did you know tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 children ages 5–11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. This decay, also known as cavities, can cause pain and infections that may affect a child’s ability to eat, speak, play, or learn. If you’re a parent who’s wondering if there’s anything you can do to protect your child’s teeth, the answer is yes. And it starts with taking advantage of your TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) coverage.
 
“The TDP covers a wide range of preventive dental services for military children worldwide,” said Chief of the Defense Health Agency TRICARE Dental Care Section COL Christensen Hsu. “From seeing the dentist for regular checkups to getting sealants, the TDP can help keep your daughter or son’s gums and teeth healthy.”
 
Here’s a look at your TDP coverage and what you can do to protect your child’s oral health.
 
What are my child’s preventive dental options?
Dental cleanings are just one of the TDP’s main covered services. It covers two routine dental cleanings in a consecutive 12-month period for each enrollee. Other basic dental care that’s fully covered includes: 
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Space maintainers (fully covered for children under the age 19)
  • Space maintainer care
  • Sealants (fully covered for permanent molars through age 18)
 
The TDP also covers basic restorative services. This includes dental fillings and crowns. Dentists use restoratives to repair broken or cracked teeth, and to protect against cavities. If your child needs braces or a major dental procedure, like oral surgery, the TDP covers that as well. Keep in mind, your cost-share depends on the type of service your child needs, sponsor pay grade, and where you live. Some dental services may count towards your TDP maximum benefit.
 
If you have questions, be sure to contact your TDP contractor, United Concordia Companies, Inc. Or check out the TRICARE Dental Program Handbook. This resource can help you learn more about dental costs, how to find a network dentist, and other dental services your child may need.  
 
Don’t forget about oral hygiene
As important as seeing the dentist is, remember that it’s only half the battle. You’ve got to do your part at home, too. That means making sure your child brushes his or her teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends daily flossing and brushing twice per day. Brushing and flossing is a good routine to establish with your child. It’s something fun you can do together. Just make sure you keep an eye on them, especially if you have small children.
 
“For children, ages three to six, it’s really important to supervise their brushing,” Hsu added. “They’re new to it, and they’re not exactly very good in terms of brushing their teeth in the very back. You also have to remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.”
 
Diet is an important factor as well. Limiting sweets and eating healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, can benefit your child’s dental health. You can learn more about good foods for dental health from ADA.
 
April is the Month of the Military Child. Be sure to check out other resources from the Military Health System to help support the health and well-being of military children of all ages. To learn more about covered dental services for your child or yourself, visit the TDP website.
A parent checks on sick child

How to Get Urgent Care Under Your TRICARE Health...

News
Jan. 18, 2022

Do you have an injury or illness that isn’t quite serious enough for a trip to the emergency room? This might...
Read More
A service member kisses infant son

New to TRICARE? Check Out TRICARE 101

News
Jan. 13, 2022

Are you a recent TRICARE enrollee, newly eligible to enroll, or even a seasoned user? If you have any...
Read More
Doctor sitting at desk

Need Help Finding a TRICARE Network Provider?

News
Jan. 11, 2022

The new year has begun. It’s a great time to renew focus on your health. Did you put off seeing a doctor in...
Read More
Graphic of the TRICARE Choices for National Guard and Reserve Handbook

In the National Guard or Reserve? Learn About Yo...

News
Dec. 28, 2021

Are you a National Guard or Reserve member? Check out the TRICARE Choices for National Guard and Reserve...
Read More
There are two main categories of Medicare providers: participating and non-participating. A third category is opt-out providers, which are your most expensive option. If you wish to make the best choice for your coverage, it’s important that you learn the differences between each provider type.

TRICARE For Life: Choosing Your Provider Option

News
Dec. 22, 2021

Do you have medical coverage under the TRICARE For Life (TFL) program? Will you soon be eligible for TFL? If...
Read More
MHS Nurse Advice Line logo

Need Health Advice at Home? Chat With a Nurse 24/7

News
Dec. 20, 2021

With the threat of flu season added to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you might not want to go to the doctor’s...
Read More
Prescription pill bottles sit on a shelf

What You Need to Know About New TRICARE Pharmacy...

News
Dec. 15, 2021

As of Dec. 15, CVS Pharmacy is a part of the TRICARE retail pharmacy network. At the same time, Walmart, Sam’s...
Read More
Hands holding pill bottle

How TRICARE Pharmacy Network Changes Will Affect...

News
Dec. 13, 2021

Have you heard about the changes coming to the TRICARE retail pharmacy network starting Dec. 15? CVS Pharmacy...
Read More

Jan. 18, 2022

How to Get Urgent Care Under Your TRICARE Health Plan

Do you have an injury or illness that isn’t quite serious enough for a trip to the emergency room? This might be the right time to go to an urgent care center. Most TRICARE beneficiaries can go to an urgent care center whenever they need to. You just want to be sure to check out and follow the urgent care rules for your health plan.

Jan. 13, 2022

New to TRICARE? Check Out TRICARE 101

Are you a recent TRICARE enrollee, newly eligible to enroll, or even a seasoned user? If you have any questions about your TRICARE benefits, you should first check out the TRICARE 101 page. Here, you can find information and resources to help answer questions about TRICARE and your coverage.

Jan. 11, 2022

Need Help Finding a TRICARE Network Provider?

The new year has begun. It’s a great time to renew focus on your health. Did you put off seeing a doctor in 2021? If so, now is your time to act. Regular checkups are critical to screening for diseases and preventing future health problems. And TRICARE is here to help you find the right doctor.

Dec. 28, 2021

In the National Guard or Reserve? Learn About Your Health Care Options

Are you a National Guard or Reserve member? Check out the TRICARE Choices for National Guard and Reserve Handbook.

Dec. 22, 2021

TRICARE For Life: Choosing Your Provider Option

Do you have medical coverage under the TRICARE For Life (TFL) program? Will you soon be eligible for TFL? If so, it’s important to become familiar with your choices of Medicare providers, whatever your needs may be.

Dec. 20, 2021

Need Health Advice at Home? Chat With a Nurse 24/7

With the threat of flu season added to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you might not want to go to the doctor’s office for a minor health issue. And with the Military Health System (MHS) Nurse Advice Line, you may not have to. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the best ways to prevent flu and COVID-19 is to avoid contact with people who are sick. With the MHS Nurse Advice Line, you can get health advice 24/7 from a registered nurse from the comfort of your home.

Dec. 15, 2021

What You Need to Know About New TRICARE Pharmacy Network Options

As of Dec. 15, CVS Pharmacy is a part of the TRICARE retail pharmacy network. At the same time, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and some community pharmacies are no longer a part of the TRICARE network. What does this mean for you? Although the list of retail network pharmacies has changed, you can still get the medications you need.

Dec. 13, 2021

How TRICARE Pharmacy Network Changes Will Affect TRICARE For Life

Have you heard about the changes coming to the TRICARE retail pharmacy network starting Dec. 15? CVS Pharmacy is joining the network on that date. At the same time, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and some community pharmacies are leaving the network. If you’re a TRICARE For Life (TFL) beneficiary, you may be wondering how these changes affect the coverage of your current drugs. They don’t.

Dec. 9, 2021

Act Now: TRICARE Open Season Ends Dec. 13

Did you know TRICARE Open Season ends on Monday, Dec. 13? This is your last opportunity, if you so choose, to enroll in or change your health plan. Any changes you make to your coverage during open season will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Dec. 7, 2021

Researching Your 2022 Health Care Costs? Here Are 7 Terms to Know

Did you know that we’re currently in TRICARE Open Season? This is the time when eligible TRICARE beneficiaries can change or enroll in health plans for the upcoming year. But choosing a plan often means encountering a few unfamiliar health care terms.

Learn More about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine.