In the military, there are strict standards for enlistment.
There are illnesses that could prevent you from joining the military such as mental illness, diabetes, and more.
This article provides information on military medical enlistment standards for dental issues.
Dental illness could also prevent you from joining the military.
A soldier in the military cannot be distracted by dental illnesses such as toothaches and tooth decay.
That’s why in the military they screen soldiers for dental health problems.
When you go to the Military Entrance Processing Station, to get medically screened before becoming a soldier or an officer, you will be fully examined.
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Oral health refers to the general health of the teeth, gums, and mouth. Dental issues refer to conditions that affect oral health.
Dental issues can cause pain and discomfort to any affected person.
Dental issues are cavities, tooth erosion, gum infections, and gum diseases.
Dental diseases are among the most chronic diseases in the world.
Symptoms of dental issues depend on the cause of the issue. The most common symptoms of dental issues include:
- sensitivity to cold or hot drinks
- Loosed or shaky tooth
- pain when eating cold foods
- Abnormal color or shape of the tooth
- worn teeth
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gum
- Gum pains
- Swollen cheeks
Common Dental Issue
Common dental issues include:
- Tooth cavities
- Gum disease
- Tooth erosion
- Cracked or chipped tooth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth color
- Impacted teeth
- Oral cancer
Military Medical Dental Standards
Medical dental issues that can lead to disqualification from the military are:
1. Jaw Diseases
Diseases associated with the jaw that prevents normal functioning of the jaw can restrict you from joining the military.
This includes but is not limited to Temporomandibular Jaw Disorder (TMJ) and myofascial pain disorder.
Soldiers and officers in the military need to be able to use their jaws properly while eating and even for communication.
When soldiers have jaw diseases it affects their speech and eating and may require surgery.
Congenital or injuries that affect chewing normally and cannot be repaired through surgical means will disqualify you from enlisting in the military.
If you’ve had the surgery and the issue has been corrected then you can enlist in the military but you have to apply for a waiver.
3. Severe Malocclusion
Malocclusion which is having crooked teeth or a bite that doesn’t align properly can disqualify you from getting enlisted into the military.
4. Insufficient natural healthy teeth
Having insufficient natural healthy teeth that affect eating can lead to disqualification from the military.
To enlist in the military, you must be free of cavities and dental decay to be sworn in.
Signs of insufficient oral health include tooth decay, cavities, and excessive missing teeth. You cannot join the military if you have more than 8 missing teeth, it is a major disqualifier.
5. Orthodontic appliances
Braces that are orthodontic appliances are disqualifying because they pose a risk of injury during the war.
Retainers are not disqualifying orthodontic appliances into the military.
If the dental implants have fixed an issue, you can use an approved waiver to join the military.
But if you have multiple dental implants that affect your ability to chew or eat a normal diet, then this will disqualify you from joining the military.
6. Removal of adult teeth
If you have any disease or injury that caused the removal of your adult teeth and now affects how you eat or chew, it can disqualify you from enlisting in the military.
If dental implants are used to fix the missing teeth, then you can apply for a waiver.
Summary of disqualifying dental issues for military enlistment is:
- Active cavities
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
- Orthodontic appliances (braces)
- Myofascial pain
- Severe malocclusion
- Missing teeth
- Anything that impacts your ability to chew
- Insufficient natural healthy teeth
- Undergoing corrective procedures
Prevention of Dental Issue
If you have dental issues you won’t be able to enlist in the military because you would be medically screened out.
Tips to prevent dental issues and practice hygiene include:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Use a fluoride toothpaste
- Limit your sugar intake
- Floss daily
- Drink water always
- Limit alcohol intake
- Avoid tobacco
- Regularly go for dental checkups
- Use facial protective equipment
Schedule Dental Checkups
They are so many dental issues that could lead to your disqualification from the military. So to prevent that and the risk of developing dental issues, you should regularly have dental checkups at least once every four months.
At the dental checkup, the dentist will perform an oral exam and totally clean your teeth with fluoride treatment.
Although there is a dentist in the military to run dental checkups, there are still strict standards on oral health.
Whether or not you plan to join the military, schedule dental checkups to maintain excellent oral health, prevent tooth decay and cavities, prevent gum and jaw diseases.