Optimal Dental Health Does a Body Good
Good oral health is often perceived as a bright white smile with perfectly straight teeth. While these attributes are indicators of good health, and smiling is proven to be a mood booster, oral health is more than aesthetics. In fact, the mouth serves as an entry point to the rest of the body and can determine overall health.
Common oral bacterial infections, like gum disease and tooth decay, can travel into the digestive and respiratory tracts—triggering other chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and depression. To combat these poor health outcomes, it is imperative that USFHP members take preventive measures to maintain optimal dental health, and here’s how:
Brush twice a day. Brush your teeth in circular motion for two minutes, twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste. (Remember, two is the magic number.)
- Say “ahh.” Tongue scrapers are an effective way to clean your tongue. It kills unwanted bacteria and removes buildup from between the grooves of the tongue.
- Don’t skip the floss and mouthwash. Conflicting information may lead the public to believe flossing and mouthwashing are optional, but according to the American Dental Association and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, flossing is a vital oral health practice.
- Eat Well. We can’t seem to escape healthy eating habits. Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water strengthens teeth and gums. Reduce the consumption of sugary foods and drinks and expect an increase in quality of life.
- Check in with your dentist biannually. Dentists recommend scheduling dental visits twice a year. (There’s that magic number again.) Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, dental offices are taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of their patients. Discuss any points of apprehension with your dental provider and, once agreeable, follow through with routine visits. The pure habit of going to the dentist can prevent serious problems—ultimately saving time and money.
As we enter the final quarter of the year, it’s not too late to schedule an appointment with your dental provider.
US Family Health Plan TRICARE Prime offers comprehensive healthcare to military families, which includes an option for free preventive dental coverage as one of their enhanced benefit choices.
Now that’s something to smile about!Click here to review eligibility requirements and enroll today!