Will Your Dentist Scream or Beam After Halloween?

11/1/2018

After Halloween, you may be left with a mound of candy to tempt your sweet tooth. But Halloween is just the beginning. With the holiday season right around the corner, the next few months will likely include even more treats. It’s important to be mindful of your dental health and not let healthy habits slip during this annual time of celebration. TRICARE dental coverage, combined with good dental habits will help you keep your teeth healthy year-round.

Follow these American Dental Association tips to help you and your family keep your teeth healthy:

  • Remove any excess Halloween candy from the house.
  • If you choose to eat candy, try to eat it or any other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime.
  • Stay away from hard candy that stays in your mouth for a long time. The longer sugary foods stay in your mouth, the more at risk you are for tooth decay.
  • Avoid sticky candy such as gummy bears. Stickier candies take longer for saliva to rinse away, increasing the possibility for tooth decay.
  • Say “no” to sugary beverages, like soda, sports drinks, and flavored waters. Choose to drink more water to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Eat healthy saliva producing and teeth strengthening snacks, such as raw vegetables, hard cheeses, and nuts. These foods help to clean your teeth and get rid of harmful acids, as well as prevent tooth decay.
  • Brush your teeth two times a day for two minutes. Floss at least once a day to help remove plaque and food particles where toothbrush bristles can’t reach.
  • Keep up your regularly scheduled dental appointments, and inform your dentist of any concerns.

If you need to find a dentist, it depends on which TRICARE dental plan you have. TRICARE offers three dental options that are separate from TRICARE health care options. The dental plans include Active Duty Dental Program, TRICARE Dental Program, and TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP).

And remember, if you’re enrolled in TRDP, your plan will end on Dec. 31, 2018. For dental coverage in 2019, retirees and their eligible family members can enroll in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), offered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. If you want to enroll in FEDVIP, you must do so during the Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10, 2018.

Take command of your dental health this holiday season. Keep in mind ways to protect your teeth while enjoying your favorite treats. For more details on TRICARE dental options, visit the TRICARE website and refer to the TRICARE Dental Options Fact Sheet.

Last Updated 1/4/2019