drinking water plays a key role in preserving your teeth

Drinking water plays a key role in preserving your teeth.

Most people want an attractive smile. It is usually the first thing that someone notices. Following a solid dental care routine that is filled with brushing and flossing is important. However, drinking water plays a key role in preserving your teeth, and it brings many oral health benefits.

Keep Stains Away

Certain foods and beverages, including coffee, wine, and berries, cause discoloration of your tooth enamel. Staining can dampen your smile and cause your pearly whites to look dingy.

Regular hydration helps dilute the items so that they do not cause a negative reaction in your mouth. When you consume anything that leads to staining, it is advised to drink and rinse with water so that your mouth is properly flushed.

Prevent Cavities

When you eat a candy bar or a similar sweet treat, follow it with a glass of water.

When you eat a candy bar or a similar sweet treat, follow it with a glass of water.

Water is a helpful tool that keeps sugars and acids from harming your mouth. When you eat sugary foods, they turn into acids that eat at your enamel and cause cavities.

For example, when you eat a candy bar or a similar sweet treat, follow it with a glass of water. This is not a replacement for brushing your teeth, but it is a good way to eliminate acids that can have a devastating effect on your oral health.

Freshen Your Breath

Nothing is worse than the embarrassment of bad breath. When you are kissing your sweetheart or are in the middle of a meeting with an important client, the last thing you want to do is to worry about your breath.

When your mouth is dry, anaerobic bacteria is produced. This is common when you first wake up. If you frequently drink water throughout the day, your mouth stays moist, and the environment where bacteria thrives is eliminated. Also, this helps to get rid of leftover food that becomes trapped in the crevices of your mouth. This means that there is nothing for bacteria to feed upon.

Celebrate National Drink Water Week

pure, clean water

Our bodies need to stay hydrated.

May 7, 2017 kicks off “Drinking Water Week.” Most people know how the body needs to stay hydrated, but few comprehend the positive effects that it brings to your oral health.

After learning how water benefits you mouth, you will want to incorporate it into your daily activities. It is an easy way to keep your smile looking as beautiful as possible.

Read Next: Oral Health and Pot Use Concerns

Healthy smiles help people look great in photos.

A healthy smile helps people look great in photos

With the rise of social media, our smiles have grown more important than ever. Access to high-resolution cameras on phones or tablets mean self-portraits have become the social currency of our times.

These developments have certainly made it quicker and easier to take candid photos. Therefore, people feel the importance of having a camera-ready smile all the time.

While many have mastered the art of always looking good in photos, others shy away from spontaneous photo sessions. Some may be introverts, eccentrics or fiercely private individuals. But for others, the underlying cause of their camera shyness may be as simple as poor oral health.

Anatomy of a Healthy Smile

The one factor that automatically qualifies smiles as appealing is having healthy teeth.

The one factor that automatically qualifies a smile as appealing is having healthy teeth.

If you were to examine the most dazzling smiles on celebrities or commercial models, you’d notice a common element. Fresh, dewy skin and perfect lips help, but these are not a smile’s most important elements. The one factor that automatically qualifies a smile as appealing is having healthy teeth.

Learn more: How This Dentist Became the #1 Pick for Dozens of Supermodels

It’s always possible to smile without exposing your teeth. However, the type of smile that usually draws a reaction is one that flashes your pearly whites in all their well-cared for glory. It’s the kind of smile that almost automatically draws a positive response from others.

Smiling is contagious. Evidence from various social research projects show that humans have an instinct for facial mimicry. It’s a way to develop empathy and understanding of other people’s experiences or feelings.

An inability to mirror the other facial expressions limits your own ability to read verbal and nonverbal cues. It may also prevent you from reacting appropriately in social situations.

Importance of Dental Health

A healthy smile begins with good oral health. There’s no substitute for brushing at least twice daily, flossing once a day and using your choppers only as intended.

It’s tempting to open packages with your incisors or use your canines to cut stuff. Teeth are handier than scissors. However, these practices can damage tooth enamel and roots.

In addition, protect your tooth against undue stress, such as very hard or overly sticky foods and extreme temperature changes. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year is good habit to embrace. That’s because only trained and licensed professionals can perform the checks and procedures needed to keep your mouth healthy.

Learn more: Can dental problems cause health problems?

Smiles Should Come Naturally

family group with big smiles

People tend to smile and be more friendly when they feel healthy.

You are more confident when you don’t have to worry about hiding tooth imperfections such as discoloration, chipping or missing teeth. People tend to smile and be more friendly when they feel healthy.

Many put up with these issues. That may be due to fear of dentists, poor access to dental care, financial constraints or lack of dental insurance. Even without such issues, people sometimes suffer from uneven or misaligned teeth. That can make it nearly impossible to smile naturally.

Smile Makeover 101

Smiling is not only a form of expression, it’s also part of a set of critical social skills that help us navigate through life. The good news: an imperfect smile can be made more perfect with proper care and professional help.

With dental insurance, you’ll have access to professional care to help keep your mouth healthy for a camera-ready smile at all times. The month of May is designated as Photograph Month, which would be a good time for a personal smile review and makeover.

Read Next: How This Dentist Became the #1 Pick for Dozens of Supermodels

Are you looking for the perfect reason to pack your lunch and head outdoors? Then you’ll be pleased to learn that National Picnic Day is just around the corner. As the temperatures rise and the clouds fade, people grab their favorite meals and head out for a relaxing picnic.
The problem, though, is that many foods are harmful to teeth. In addition,  you may not know about the danger. The good news is: you can still enjoy tasty treats without putting your oral health at risk.
You and your family will not need to miss out on the fun to stay in good shape. While not everyone knows what to eat and what to avoid, the following information will point you in the right direction.

Tooth-Healthy Picnic Foods


Cheese is a good way to start your picnic.

Cheese is a good way to start your picnic.

Your goal should be to stock up on foods that are pleasant to eat but won’t damage your dental health. Therefore,  choosing cheese is a good place to start. Those who consume it on a regular basis tend to have lower levels of acid in their mouths than those who don’t.

This will reduce the odds of tooth decay, but that’s not all. Because cheese is packed with calcium, bringing some on your picnic will help you strengthen your teeth.


Replace ice cream with yogurt in your picnic basket.

Replace ice cream with yogurt in your picnic basket.Those who keep dental health at the front of their minds can replace ice cream with yogurt in their picnic baskets.

Like cheese, yogurt also contains calcium and will work wonders for every tooth in your mouth. Moreover, you can opt for a range of flavors to keep things interesting. And, unlike ice cream, yogurt travels well.

Even though it will go a long way to keep cavities away, remember that not all yogurts are created equal. Before you pick a product, check the label to ensure  it contains no added sugar.


Picnic day: bring a few apples along for the ride!

Picnic day: bring a few apples along for the ride!

When you want to make your fun day even better, don’t forget to bring a few apples along for the ride. Not only are they delicious, but apples will also work wonders for building strong teeth.

Apples usually contain a lot of water. This helps wash bacteria and food particles away from your teeth. Some people opt to eat them whole, but you can also cut them into slices or cubes. If you want to mix several healthy snacks, try dipping apple slices in your cup of yogurt.

picnic tea

A range of drinks taste great without too much added sugar.

Drinks That Promote Dental Health

To help maintain your oral health on National Picnic Day, leave the soda on the shelf.

You can still find a range of drinks that taste great without too much added sugar.

Place some chocolate milk in your cooler for quick access to a beverage that won’t disappoint. In addition, you might opt for green tea if you want to add some variety to your selection.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining proper oral health doesn’t mean you must forget about any foods or drinks that taste great. Apples, yogurt, milk and more will add a wave a flavor to your picnic without endangering your teeth.

Look for options that are low in sugar, and you are unlikely to face many problems. A lot of dental issues can be prevented by making informed decisions. Learn about healthy choices that will appeal to your tastes buds to help you stay on track.

Read next: Can dental problems cause health problems?


Nature’s stinky little helper.

Russian penicillin. Italian perfume. The stinking rose. Whatever you might call it, garlic certainly has a long and fascinating history.

People have hailed it as a divine cure-all and a protective charm. Others have cursed it and associated it with the very footsteps of Satan himself.
Now, although no one seems to know how or why it began, it even has its own day. In honor of National Garlic Day – held annually on April 19 – let’s review the wonders of one of nature’s most fascinating plants.

The Peculiar History of Garlic

Among the first plants humans used, this humble plant has been around for virtually all of recorded history. Archaeologists have found the pungent, fleshy bulbs in ancient Egyptian pyramids and Greek temples.

Soldiers, warriors and athletes from Rome to China consumed garlic to boost their strength and vitality. Even as recently as World War II, people have sometimes used it to treat wounds. It’s even stood in as a substitute for penicillin – hence the “Russian penicillin” nickname.

Bad Breath, Better Health

A few thousand years ago, people ate garlic for a wide assortment of maladies. Your doctor probably won’t write a prescription for a clove of garlic today. However, its reputation for medicinal value lives on.

In fact, modern medicine has confirmed many of the properties first recognized by our ancestors. In particular, garlic has proven to be an excellent ally for oral health.

Learn more: Can dental problems cause health problems?

The stinking rose might give you a serious case of bad breath. Nevertheless, allicin – the compound it contains – is also a powerful antifungal and antimicrobial substance. It promotes a healthy mouth by preventing tooth decay. In addition, it attacks gum disease and inhibits the growth of all sorts of problematic microbes.

Using Garlic for a Healthy Mouth

Taking care of your teeth is one of the most important things we can do, and garlic is a powerful oral health aid. If you’d like to use it to help protect your teeth, there are a few options. For one, you can simply incorporate more into your normal diet.

You can also find supplements that offer many of the same benefits without the powerful odor. In addition to oral health, consuming more garlic may also lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and boost the immune system.

National Garlic Day

Considering its long and fascinating history and many health benefits, it should come as no surprise that this plant has its own day of celebration. No one seems to know who first created a national day to celebrate the stinking rose, or why it falls on April 19. However, there’s no question our odorous little friend is deserving of recognition.

Whether you’re seeking out its medicinal properties or you simply enjoy the taste, why not put a little more garlic in your life? Go ahead and take a bite – a healthy mouth awaits!

Read next: How To Keep Teeth Healthy and Strong

Beer is one of the world’s oldest and most loved beverages. On April 7, 1933, the brew was made legal in the United States, a huge move by the American government to end the prohibition of alcoholic beverages. The date is now celebrated as “National Beer Day,” and it’s the perfect time to get together with friends and enjoy some of your favorite brews. However, before you plan your night on the town, you should consider the affects that drinking beer might have on your teeth. This is even more important if you drink regularly.

Beer and Cavities: Is Your Favorite Brew a Concern?

The idea that beer might hurt your teeth is probably news to you. Many people have a misconception that beer doesn’t contain sugar because it doesn’t taste sweet. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. While it contains no added sugar, it does contain 13 grams of carbohydrates in a serving. When carbohydrates mix with the natural bacteria found in your mouth, plaque begins to form. This plaque is what eventually leads to gum disease and tooth decay.

Enamel Damage: is Acidic Beer Damaging to Your Teeth?

Beer and other acidic beverages, such as lemonade, can damage to the structure of your teeth. Acids eat away at your tooth enamel, and once it’s gone, it doesn’t usually come back. Worn-down enamel leads to extreme sensitivity, tooth discoloration and other serious problems. It’s not an issue that you want to take lightly.

Tips for National Beer Day: Avoid Cavities and Maintain Oral Health

1. Stay Light

Have you ever heard people complain that certain brews are “like water”? They might be less pleasing to connoisseurs, but beers that are lighter in color and thinner in consistency are typically less acidic. A sour taste generally indicates acidity, so when sampling drinks on National Beer Day, avoid a second drink of anything that tastes sour. Malt style brews that come in darker colors are also very hard on your teeth.

2. Hydrate

Beer is liquid, but it’s much less hydrating than water. If you want to protect your teeth, avoid getting too drunk and reduce the odds of having a hangover the next day, drink plenty of water in between alcoholic beverages. It’s also a good idea to swish the water around your mouth to clean your teeth.

3. Chew Sugarless Gum

Pop a stick of sugarless gum in your mouth and chew while walking from one bar to another. This activates your saliva glands and helps to cleanse the excess bacteria from your teeth and gums.

The best way to avoid cavities and maintain great oral health is by visiting the dentist regularly. Along with removing plaque and tartar from your teeth, the dentist can also keep an eye on your teeth and let you know of any early signs of tooth decay.

For more information about oral health and how it can affect your dental insurance, please contact us today.

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.

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.

Boxing and mixed martial arts are fun sports that provide a lot of enjoyment to the participants and spectators. But if you engage in one of these sports, it’s vital you take the proper steps to protect yourself from unneeded risks. Otherwise, you may endanger your health.

One of the best ways to safeguard yourself when you are playing a contact sport is to wear a mouth guard. Doing so protects your oral health. That’s because a mouth guard prevents heavy blows from cracking, chipping or otherwise damaging your teeth.

Although it’s mandatory in many professional sports, some amateur fighters overlook the importance of protecting themselves. If you are still not convinced, then the following information should point you in the right direction.

The Danger

No matter how skilled you are, you can never ensure that you won’t receive a direct blow to the face. When you get hit at the wrong angle, the force from the impact transfers directly to a single tooth. If that happens, it won’t take much for permanent damage to occur.

In some cases, the damaged area might be so small that you don’t even notice. Nevertheless, it may knock your teeth out of place. When safeguarding yourself is as easy as using the right equipment, the correct choice becomes clear.

How Mouth Guards Help

When it comes to the health of boxers and those who enjoy mixed martial arts, people often wonder how mouth guards can prevent a tooth from being chipped or cracked. With it in place, it will displace the force of a blow, significantly reducing the odds of an injury. Rather than being concentrated in one spot, the energy will be spread out in a way that lessens the damage. So if maintaining your oral health is at the front of your mind, get a mouth guard before your next competition.

Types of Mouth Guards

If you want to enjoy the best possible results, you might be asking yourself about the types of mouth guards that are available and which one you should choose. To work effectively, it will need to fit in your mouth perfectly so that it can absorb the impact and reduce the damage. For that reason, mouth guards that will mold to the shape of your mouth and teeth will provide you with outstanding protection on which you can depend, enabling you to put your fears to rest.

Dental Insurance

Although a mouth guard protects your oral health, the danger will always be present. If you experience a chipped or damaged tooth, getting the proper medical attention will be costly. When you don’t want to take any chances, getting a good dental insurance plan is a great way to achieve peace of mind.

Dental insurance protects you from the expensive bills that you will face, allowing you to get the treatment that you need. Because of the increased danger of boxing, martial arts and other contact sports, having an effective dental plan is critical.

Turkeys are certainly attractive birds, but they don’t have teeth. In fact, virtually all birds lack pearly whites. That tidbit begs the question: How do turkeys eat?

Fowl Digestion

When it’s mealtime, a turkey’s beak scoops up some delicious blades of grass, berries, grains, seeds, or other pieces of food. Next, its salivary glands get to work, moistening and breaking down that grub. The turkey’s tongue then forces the food backwards, and it drops into the crop, which is like a little storage container within the esophagus.

Eventually, the food makes its way into the stomach; the acids there tear it apart even more. In addition, a turkey’s stomach contains a section with thick walls called the gizzard. Turkeys often swallow little stones, and they go right into the gizzard. That way, when morsels pass through, they rub against the stones, which rips them into even tinier shreds.

At last, the food goes into the intestines, and the turkey’s body takes out the nutrients that it needs for survival and nourishment. The bird, of course, excretes the rest.

No Turkeys at the Original Holiday Dinner?

With all of this turkey talk, you might start to wonder something else: Why do people eat these feathered creatures on the fourth Thursday of every November?

Many folks assume that the Pilgrims and Native Americans ate turkeys at the original Thanksgiving dinner way back in 1621, and that’s the reason we do so now. However, it’s possible that they ate geese, ducks, or even swans at that historic event instead.

During the 1850s, the journals of William Bradford, a Pilgrim who served for decades as the governor of his colony, were discovered. Before that time, those documents had been missing for about 100 years. They quickly became popular reading across the country. In those texts, Bradford discusses the turkeys that the Pilgrims would hunt. Thus, Pilgrims and turkeys became permanently linked in the public’s imagination.

A Bird Becomes a Tradition

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a federal holiday, and turkeys became the perfect choice for that day’s main course. After all, they’re relatively big, and they’re full of tasty meat.

At that time, this kind of poultry wasn’t consumed all that often. Therefore, it seemed like a true holiday indulgence. This meat was affordable as well. Unlike cows that provided milk, roosters that woke people up, and hens that laid eggs, turkeys didn’t serve humans any useful purpose unless they were served on a plate.

Giving Thanks for Healthy Mouths

Today, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t merely delicious. It can also provide your gums and teeth with vital nutrients. Turkey is full of protein. Yams are bursting with vitamin C, which fortifies gums; just try to avoid candied yams. Mashed potatoes will supply you with potassium and vitamin B6, both of which promote oral health. For their part, pumpkins are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, which can help heal ailing gums, and magnesium, which strengthens enamel.

Let’s not forget the appetizers. Cheese has calcium, which also makes enamel harder. On top of that, nuts, carrots, and other crunchy snacks stimulate the release of saliva, clearing the mouth of harmful microbes. Thus, although turkeys don’t have teeth, Turkey Day can be very helpful to yours.