With Thanksgiving next week, a look at the history of the holiday is in order. When Americans sit down to dinner each November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the day on which Thanksgiving would be celebrated, they do so thinking that the first Thanksgiving feast was held in Plymouth in 1621. However, according to the National Geographic, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez Coronado and his men celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving in Texas in 1541, giving Texas the distinction of being the first place where Thanksgiving was ever celebrated!
The Pilgrims at the Plymouth Plantation celebrated an entirely different day of Thanksgiving in 1623. Plagued by a crop-destroying drought, the settlers prayed for relief. They even fasted! A few days later, they received rain that they so desperately needed. Soon thereafter, they received another blessing when Captain Miles Standish came with staples that they could not otherwise have obtained. He also advised them that a Dutch supply ship was en route. In gratitude for the abundance of these blessings, the Plymouth settlers celebrated a day of prayer and Thanksgiving on June 20, 1623.
Surviving journals from that time indicated that their first Thanksgiving feast was not quite like what Americans eat today. The meal consisted of venison, various types of wild fowl (including wild turkey), and Indian corn. There were no cranberries, stuffing, pumpkin pie, potatoes, or any of the other "traditional" foods that appear on modern menus.
Today, Thanksgiving is still a day of feasting, and for some, a day of prayer and thanksgiving. For others, it is a celebration of gathering, especially for families. Still others celebrate in entirely different ways, including watching college football games, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, or by playing family games.
No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, may we never forget the true blessings, like healthy teeth to enjoy the Holiday's great food, that God has given to each one of us!
Periodontal health, which refers to the condition of the structures that support your teeth, is an important part of your oral and overall health. However, periodontal health becomes even more important when you are pregnant. Bad oral heath can have detrimental effects on the health of your unborn child that can lead to low-birth weight babies as well as to giving birth pre-term.
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a set of chronic, bacteria-induced, inflammatory diseases that attack the gum tissue and in more severe cases, the bones that support your teeth. Early signs of gum disease include tenderness, swelling, and redness. Symptoms can also include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, receding gums, loose teeth, and bad breath. These signs should definitely not be ignored, especially if you are pregnant!
Of course, as in all of dentistry, prevention is the key!
- Brush your teeth properly for two minutes twice daily.
- Floss daily.
- Use antiseptic mouthwash.
- Maintain regular dental checkups.
The use of Vaping devices has been on the increase in the past few years. Even though most patients feel that vaping is a much safer alternative to use than smoking tobacco, recent research has been released that further elevates the concern that Vaping, like tobacoo use, has some important adverse side effects.
Although it has long been known that tobacco use decreases the body's ability to heal, a recent report that was just released in October 2018, indicates that vaping interfers with wound healing as well! This research was published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery by Boston University researchers. Dr. Jeff Speigel, who is the chief of facial plastic surgery at the Boston Medical Center, stated that based on their recent findings, "e-cigarettes are NOT a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes as it relates to timely wound healing." Smoking and vaping both appear to be equally deterimental to wound healing and are associated with a statisically significant increase in tissue death! These new findings are more evidence that continued research of the long term use of vaping is needed. One can only think to intuitively draw a conclusion that since post operative dental procedures that require tissue healing, such as oral surgery, gum surgery, or even implant placement, could be negatively impacted by patients that currently vape!
Toothpaste no longer comes in simple choices of fluoride and fresh breath. Paste is not even the only option! You can choose gel forms and even some with ribbons of color and flavor. With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to know which features or combinations of ingredients are best for your mouth.
FLUORIDE. The majority of all dental patients should use toothpaste with fluoride, which helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth; making them stronger and more resistant to decay.
SENSITIVITY PROTECTION. If your teeth are sensitive to temperatures, toothpaste with sensitivity protection can work wonders for your discomfort. Ingredients in these pastes or gels work to block the pathways to the nerves that react to hot or cold.
PLAQUE, TARTAR, & GINGIVAL PROTECTION. Everyone has bacteria in his or her mouth, and this bacteria is normal. Unfortunately, some bacteria also cause plaque. If the plaque remains on your teeth, it hardens into tartar or calculus, which is the cement-like substance that cannot be removed by brushing alone.
WHITENING. White teeth are desirable, and manufacturers are heavily marketing whitening toothpastes. Most brands do not contain bleaching ingredients; instead, they use abrasives to polish stains away. Unfortunately, too much abrasive use can be damaging to your teeth.
According to a recent study, people with big smiles may actually live longer than those who don't! It has been known for quite some time that positive emotions have been linked to both physical and mental health. Researchers looked at photos of 230 ball-players who began their careers in baseball prior to 1950 and studied their smile intensity (ranging from a big smile, no smile, or a partial smile). The players' smile ratings were compared with data from deaths that occurred from 2006 through 2009. The researchers then took into account other factors that impact longevity, including body mass, career length and even college attendance.
THE RESULTS. Researchers found that the players who were not smiling in the photos died at the average age of 72.9 years. While players with partial smiles lived to be 75, those with big smiles, however, lived on average to be 79.9 years old!
What can we learn from the study? Smile now, smile often and you might just live longer! If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment to give you a reason to brighten your smile, call our office at 918-455-0123!
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