Has your presidential vote ever been affected by a candidate’s smile? Often, we judge leaders by their appearance, especially their teeth. We tend to base our assumptions of intelligence, personality, success, and health on their dentition.

In honor of Presidents Day, we review the dental records of presidents who had poor oral health. Many of them were subject to crude instruments and dental procedures. Then, we fast forward to recent years, featuring leaders with healthy teeth. Thank heaven for quality dental care and insurance!

Presidents With Problem Teeth

George Washington

The general’s dental problems began in his 20s. He was regularly plagued by toothaches, cavities, and tooth loss, his first extraction done at age 24. A 1776 portrait shows a cheek scar, acquired after the excision of an abscessed tooth.

Throughout adulthood, he suffered oral pain, despite using various dental medicines and tooth cleaners. At the time of his 1789 inauguration, he had only one natural tooth remaining.

Ultimately, various people made the President dentures. He went through many sets, one made by Paul Revere. However, they didn’t fit properly, especially evident in photographs. Whenever he smiled, the spring-fit teeth snapped and creaked. Self-consciousness also made him reluctant to speak publicly.

Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln visited a dentist only four times during his lifetime. In 1841, a terrible toothache brought him to the dentist for an extraction. However, he didn’t receive anesthesia, and part of his jawbone broke off in the process, leaving considerable residual pain.

Fifteen years later, he developed another toothache, this tooth removed by a turnkey. In 1856, this was the standard instrument used for extractions. The device was a sharp hook at the end of a metal rod, attached to a wooden handle. The dentist fitted the hook around a tooth, twisting it to remove it. Six years later, when the President needed another extraction, he arrived at the dentist well-prepared. He brought his own anesthesia, a vial of chloroform!

Grover Cleveland

In 1893, doctors diagnosed President Cleveland with oral cancer. Six doctors carried out the 90-minute surgery to excise his tumor, five teeth, and a portion of his jaw. The only anesthesia he received was ether and nitrous oxide gas. Can you imagine the pain? A rubber prosthesis restored his normal speech.

Presidents With Winning Smiles

John F. Kennedy

President Kennedy had both a dazzling smile and remarkably strong teeth. When he served as a Navy Lieutenant during World War II, a Japanese destroyer blasted his ship. While helping his men swim to safety, he towed one injured crewman through the ocean, holding his life jacket strap in his teeth!

In 2015, Kelton Global conducted a survey of 1,000 US adults, asking them to rate the smiles of past presidents. Roughly half the participants ranked John F. Kennedy as the Democratic president with the best smile.

Ronald Reagan

In the same survey, the majority of respondents viewed Ronald Reagan as the #1 president with the most attractive smile. However, he did suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). Fortunately, a cortisone injection resolved his left-sided jaw pain.

Donald Trump

President Trump’s brilliant white teeth are the result of porcelain veneers and frequent teeth whitening. A veneer is a wafer-thin shell of porcelain, bonded to teeth to improve their appearance. It can change the shape, length, size, and color of teeth while adding strength. With regular professional care, porcelain veneers can last up to 25 years.

In-office teeth whitening is a procedure using professional bleaching agents. It’s typically done in one visit. The dentist places a protective gel or rubber shield on gums, followed by bleach. A laser enhances the action of the whitening agent.

Tooth-Saving Dental Insurance

Aren’t we fortunate in this modern age to have advanced dental technology? Gone are the days of turnkey extractions and dangerous anesthesia. We also have dental insurance to cover the care we need.

With the help of DentalInsurance.com, you can find the ideal plan. Using our free service, you can compare plan types, learn about dental procedures, obtain quotes, and choose the plan that’s right for you. Learn details about our expertise here.

Our licensed insurance agents are will help you with every step. Call us at 800-296-3800, Monday-Friday, 6am-6pm Pacific Time. Just like a US president, you deserve the highest quality dental care. DentalInsurance.com ensures that you receive it!

A Bright and Healthy Smile for Valentine’s Day

Do you have a big date for Valentine’s Day? If so, it’s natural to feel nervous. Whether it’s your first date or a special anniversary, you want to look and feel your best.

You’ve found the perfect outfit and location for the date. Now, what about your mouth? Sadly, people often neglect their oral health. It should be one of the first things people pay attention to.

Clean and Healthy Teeth: The Key to Attracting a Mate

Dates are all about assessment, and it’s safe to assume any potential love interest will pay attention to your mouth. A survey from CosmaLite found 62 percent of people noticed a potential partner’s smile before their eyes or body type. In addition, another 31.3 percent ranked bad breath as the number-one turn off.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, up to 96 percent of adults believe that a beautiful grin makes a person more appealing. This may be more associated with confidence and a friendly attitude than physical attributes. However, if a lack of confidence causes a person to hide their mouth, the results will be the same.

Most communication is non-verbal. Your smile plays a big role in letting your Valentine know how you feel. It’s a huge communicative tool that will go to waste if you don’t feel confident enough to use it. On top of turning off potential partners in general, the fears about bad breath or discolored teeth often keep people from smiling big, wasting one of their biggest gifts. It’s such a shame when you consider how easily people could correct these problems.

Poor Oral Hygiene: A Red Flag

No one wants to kiss someone with poor oral hygiene for physical reasons alone, but many will also consider a lack of self-care to be a major red flag. Anyone can clean up nicely for one date, but unless you continue to practice good oral hygiene habits, you won’t reap the results. It’s easy to get lazy about properly brushing and flossing, and everyone has a bad day here and there, but long-term neglect of your oral health is a sign that you’re lacking self-esteem.

If you want to display real confidence, you have to make an everyday practice of caring for your mouth. Along with brushing, flossing and using a mouthwash designed to help fight plaque and tartar, a good brightening toothpaste can work wonders.

Preparing in Advance: See Your Dentist Early

The safest way to guarantee your oral health will be in top shape for Valentine’s Day is to schedule a visit to your dentist’s office a week or two before. If you want to be safe, do it a month in advance. This will allow time to get any major issues taken care of before the big day arrives. You can also have your teeth cleaned, get a whitening treatment and ask your dentist for tips on making your mouth look and feel its best.

Even if you don’t have a romantic partner or Valentine’s Day date this year, you are still worthy of a fresh and healthy mouth. Don’t fall into depression and let yourself go. You never know when you might meet a potential Valentine, and when you do, you’ll be glad you had that gorgeous smile ready.

For information about how having dental insurance can help you maintain a clean and healthy mouth, please contact us today.

National Toothache Day is Something to Smile About

Following a solid oral hygiene routine and taking preventative measures will keep your mouth looking and feeling its best. It will help you avoid the need for uncomfortable and time consuming trips to the dentist as well. On February 9, 2017, the world will be celebrating “National Toothache Day.” Instead of concentrating on pain, it is a great time to discuss common tooth problems and to learn how to properly care for your oral health.

History of National Toothache Day

There are many myths related to this “holiday.” Many suspect that it was created by a dentist in response to the opening of the Hershey Chocolate Company. Since chocolate is filled with sugar that can lead to cavities, this time was meant to help patients remember the importance of good oral health. A great way to celebrate is to make an appointment with your dentist so that you can receive a checkup or tips that will keep your mouth healthy. During this time, you can pay extra attention to brushing and flossing and avoiding sugary foods that often lead to cavities.

Causes of Toothaches

There are many reasons behind toothaches.

  • Abscess. An abscess is a painful infection that occurs at the root of a tooth or in the gums that surround it. Trauma, severe decay, or gum disease can lead to an abscess.
  • Decay. Cavities cause damage to tooth enamel and the internal dentin layer. They occur when the mouth’s bacteria is turned into acid, which attacks and causes decay.
  • Damaged Filling
  • Gum Infections
  • Fractured Teeth
  • Repetitive Action. If you grind your teeth or chew too roughly, you may cause damage to your teeth that leads to pain.

How Toothaches Work

Since the face and mouth are filled with nerves, the pain from toothaches can be severe. Unlike other body parts, teeth are confined, and blood is restricted in the area. When an infection begins, pressure builds. As this pressure becomes too great, the problem starts to affect the nerves and results in noticeable discomfort. As pain becomes overwhelming, it is necessary to visit a dental care provider for relief.

How to Prevent Toothaches

It is possible to take some preventative measures so that toothaches do not develop.

  • Good Oral Hygiene. The best way to prevent decay that leads to pain is by following a regular oral hygiene routine. For example, it is important to brush and floss daily. This removes food particles that become stuck on and in between teeth. Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash is important as well.
  • Avoiding Sugary Food. To avoid problems that cause toothaches, it is best to limit the amount of sugary foods that you eat. Even when you do consume these items, it is wise to brush your teeth immediately.
  • Visit Your Dental Provider Regularly. When you schedule a yearly visit with your dental provider, you will receive a professional cleaning. Also, this professional will perform a routine exam so that small problems are detected before they become large and painful.

This occasion is the perfect time to pay attention to your oral health. It does not require a person to be in pain, but it will help to educate individuals who want to learn how to better care for their mouths. No matter how you celebrate, remember to smile big and to appreciate your teeth.

If you suffer from gingivitis, tooth decay, or simply want to prevent dental problems from occurring later, you might be looking for new ways to improve your oral health. The American Dental Association recommends using floss to remove plaque from between your teeth at least once a day, but many people dislike the hassle of flossing. You might
be wondering if water flossers, also known as water picks, are as great as their manufacturers claim.

Good Oral Hygiene: What are the Most Helpful Tools?

Floss and water picks both have the goal of removing the plaque, tartar and food particles that irritate the gums and lead to tooth decay. The pick uses water pressure to flush debris from between the teeth. With traditional floss, you drag the floss along the surface of the tooth to scrape debris away. While traditional floss can be purchased for a few dollars, a water pick can cost between $30 and $70. That said, most models are quality made and should last quite a while before you’ll need a replacement.

Water Picks versus Traditional Floss: Which is Better?

Both tools can be helpful for cleaning, but the water pick may not have the power to remove firmly attached plaque. For this reason, it’s not recommended as a replacement for floss but rather as a complementary tool. If you’ve struggling to find the drive to floss, using a water pick is certainly better than nothing. However, your best bet is using both.

Technique Matters: How Do You Properly Floss?

You might be looking for a water pick because you believe flossing isn’t working for you, but since the pick isn’t a replacement for traditional floss, you should consider improving your technique. People who feel that floss is pointless are often not doing it properly. It takes more than simply slipping the floss between each tooth and then calling it a day.

Floss works by scraping the plaque from the surface of the teeth, which means that you must pay careful attention to what you’re doing. Focus on getting close as you can to the root on both sides of the tooth. It’s safe to gently pull the floss beneath the gums, but you should be sure to keep the pressure on the surface of the tooth versus the gum tissue.

Practice Makes Perfect: How Do You Use the Water Pick?

Dentists recommend using the water pick at least once a day. Your best bet is to start with the floss, scrape and loosen as much plaque as possible, and then blast it all away with the water pick. Using the pick should be self-explanatory. The only thing you really need to remember is to be careful to avoid aiming the stream of water straight down toward the root of the tooth. Instead, keep it close to a 90-degree angle. Aiming toward the root could result in shooting a stream of water straight into the gums, separating them from the teeth and causing pain or injury.

For more information about hygiene practices and oral health, please contact us today.