Guard Your Health is a resource for Army National Guard Soldiers and family members. Find health-related tools and information. Hear from fellow Soldiers and Families. Make medical readiness part of your personal mission.

What are the rules on orthodontics for drilling Army National Guard Soldiers (i.e., after completion of Basic Training)?

Army National Guard Soldiers are permitted to have mouth equipment—better known as braces. But there are some specifics to keep in mind if you choose to begin treatment with an orthodontist.

Check in Beforehand

Before you begin treatment it’s best to talk with your Medical Readiness NCO, Commander/First Sergeant, and State Dental Officer so you are aware of any specific State guidelines or requirements. They will be able to help advise you on the timing of when to begin orthodontic treatment as it fits in with your Guard goals.

Avoid Deploying with Braces

It is highly recommended that you do not deploy if you have braces. This means that if you are in the middle of treatment and find out you are expected to deploy, your orthodontist may have to take off your braces and give you a retainer or place your braces in a “passive” state (meaning they are not moving your teeth). Soldiers may be personally responsible to pay for this additional treatment. Retainers are allowed if all “active” treatment by the orthodontist has been completed.

Pay Your Own Way

The Army does not typically cover orthodontics as part of its dental care. However, you may be eligible to enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program, which does cover orthodontics and braces. Find out more on the TRICARE website.

Want more?