The ins and outs of dental care in Germany

The ins and outs of dental care in Germany

by Jeana Coleman
Stripes Europe

A variety of factors affect whether or not dental care is available for the family of active-duty service members stationed overseas. These factors include facility location, branch of service, deployments and staffing fluctuations. When space is not available, dependents must rely on host-nation providers for their dental needs.

TRICARE Dental Program is a voluntary plan for military family members stationed in Europe to receive quality, affordable dental care. Low monthly premiums provide coverage for treatment from civilian providers at host-nation facilities for most dental procedures like cleanings, sealants, braces and dental implants. Service members and families should consult the TRICARE provided by United Concordia website, uccitdp.com, to see what treatments are covered and the cost-share for beneficiaries.

To locate a preferred provider, visit www.uccitdp.com/tp2opd/. You can search by using your nearest military treatment facility or by country and city. A list will be provided of preferred providers in your area. Host-nation dentists who qualify as preferred providers must speak English, be licensed in their country and meet a list of more than 15 standards of quality. Also, senior dental officers on installations will visit the offices of preferred providers to assess the quality of care and clinic customer service. For information about TDP enrollment, claims or covered benefits, contact one of the numbers provided in the sidebar or visit the www.uccitdp.com frequently asked questions page.

Pediatric Dental Care

Tooth decay is the most common chronic, infectious disease affecting U.S. children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 20 percent of children ages 5-11 have untreated cavities, or caries; untreated decay can lead to pain and infection that may hinder a child’s ability to eat, speak, play and learn.

Tooth decay can be prevented if families develop daily brushing regimens and schedule routine dental examinations and cleanings. Although all dentists can provide exams, treatment and advice, consider visiting a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s dental health and provides an office environment and equipment that are designed specifically for kids.

Cleaning Routine by Age

0-2: Before your baby’s first tooth erupts, use a soft cloth and gently wipe gums after feedings, during bath time and before bedtime. Gently brush first teeth with an infant finger brush and non-fluoride paste. Avoid nighttime bottles with anything but water, or dipping pacifiers into anything sweet. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that you take your child to a dentist by his or her first birthday. 

2-5: Help your child brush his/her teeth twice daily (morning and night) with an age-appropriate brush and small amount of fluoride paste. Begin flossing when teeth grow to touch. Limit juices and carbonated drinks, and schedule routine dental exams and cleanings every six months. Discuss your routine and any additional treatments like sealants or fluoride supplements. Pacifiers and thumb-sucking can poorly affect speech development and tooth alignment. If a child does not stop on their own, ask your dentist for helpful tips to discourage the habit by age 3. 

5 and up: A child’s hand muscles are still developing, so assist with brushing until age 7 or 8. Floss each day, and seek resources for tips on how to floss. Use fluoride toothpaste. Children playing sports should wear appropriate mouth guards. Continue to avoid juices and carbonated drinks, and maintain dental exams and cleanings every six months. Talk with your dentist about your current cleaning routine and areas for improvement.

Promoting Healthy Habits

Brushing and flossing don’t have to be such a chore. Several organizations provide educational resources and fun toolkits that encourage healthy dental habits: AAP’s Brush, Book, Bed; ADA’s Mouth Monsters; 2min2x; Brushing Fun Coloring Book. 

TRICARE Dental Program

Administered by

United Concordia Companies, INC (UCCI)

OCONUS Toll-Free: (844) 653-4060

OCONUS Toll: (717) 888-7400

www.uccitdp.com

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program

www.benefeds.com/education-support

milConnect Website

Update DEERS Information

https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect

Beneficiary Web Enrollment 

www.tricare.mil/bwe

TRICARE Website 

OCONUS: (844) 653-4060

https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect

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