This post was sponsored by the MetLife TRICARE Dental Program as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central.
Did you know that February is Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month? It’s no secret these days that dental health is linked to our overall health, so as moms and dads, it’s important to make sure that our kids are getting the dental care they need! MetLife wants to remind active duty and reservist members and families about their important dental benefits that you can get with their coverage, but we have some great tips for all parents!
We all know that it’s important to get our kids for the dentists for checkups and cleanings – MetLife TRICARE members are covered for two cleanings and two exams per year at no cost, when you visit a network dentist.
However, there is a lot more to dental health than just cleaning, so here are a few other tips for keeping your child’s teeth healthy this year!
- Encourage good brushing and flossing habits
Make brushing and flossing fun! Reward systems work well with younger kiddos as well. Brushing and flossing from an early age (even before your kids have teeth) can help establish good dental hygiene habits early. Also, make sure to ask your dentist about fluoride applications – if you have Metlife Tricare Dental, two applications are covered in a consecutive 12 month period.
2. Limit sugary snacks and drinks, and brush afterwards
We all know that soda and candy aren’t good for our kids, but when you do let them indulge, have them brush right after.
3. Get Tooth Sealant
Tooth sealant is a plastic material that is applied to your child’s molars to prevent cavities. I would have missed out on a few cavities myself if these had been around. Plus, they are really easy to apply – no drilling! It is generally recommended that sealants be placed on permanent molar teeth shortly after they erupt, which is around 6, and then around 12. And sealants on permanent molars are covered for children through the age of 18, with a 20% cost share for those on MetLife TRICARE Dental Program.
4. Help Stop Grinding
Children grind their teeth most often at night time, and can cause jaw pain, headaches, and tooth wear. My older daughter used to grind her teeth so badly that it woke me from another room once – I thought it was a burglar! You can try a few things to help your child, like making sure their stress levels are low before bed, massage, stretching exercises, and making sure they drink plenty of water (dehydration may be linked to teeth grinding). However, you should ask your dentist to monitor your child’s teeth if they grind – which is another great reason to make sure that you are taking your child to the dentist regularly!
If you are active duty military, or are a reservist or military dependent, check out MetLife Tricare Dental if you don’t have it already! You can visit on Facebook, and if you haven’t enrolled, there are four easy ways, including online! For additional program information, visit MetLife Tricare or call their toll-free customer service number at 1-855-638-8371.
How do you help make sure your children’s dental health is taken care of? What new habits can you start for Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month?