Monday, May 27th, is a day to reflect on and remember those who served – and lost their lives – fighting for our freedom.
Memorial Day weekend also tends to be filled with plenty of celebrating and barbecues. Of course, your McAllen dental team here at Heroes Dental loves scrumptious food and summer fun just like everyone else. But we also hope to keep the true meaning of Memorial Day alive while recognizing the sacrifices our military heroes made.
And we wouldn’t be the premier dental team in the Rio Grande Valley if we didn’t provide you with a few tips to keep those pearly whites safe and healthy this upcoming Memorial Day.
A Brief History of Memorial Day
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day dates back to 1868 when it was first celebrated in commemoration of the Civil War soldiers who had lost their lives fighting. On that first observance, 5,000 participants decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.
Memorial Day then continued to spread across the nation throughout the late 1800s with cities, communities, and several states designating it as an official holiday.
After World World I, it was recognized as a day of commemoration to honor those who had died in all of the American wars.
Finally, in 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and established that Memorial Day was to be celebrated on the last Monday of May.
About Poppy Flowers and Memorial Day
The red poppy flower associated with Memorial Day is a truly meaningful symbol. These beautiful flowers are worn in commemoration of those brave soldiers who lost their lives defending our country’s freedom and protecting the lives of those who could not protect themselves.
After World War I, poppies began to spread all across Europe. It is believed that the soils across the continent had been enriched with lime as a result of all the debris left after the war. From this rubble emerged red poppies, which would come to symbolize the bloodshed of the battlefields.
The notion of tying in poppies with the lives lost in the war first began with Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who wrote a solemn poem in honor of the troops who had died in service. The poem resonated with Moina Michael, a professor at the University of Georgia, who decided to make and sell red silk poppies to raise money in order to help returning veterans. She would continue to lobby for the red poppy to become a symbol of commemoration until it became the U.S. national emblem of remembrance in 1920.
Poppies are worn in the United States on National Poppy Day, which falls on the Friday before Memorial Day.
Start Summer on the Right Foot
Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer. Undoubtedly, families all across the Rio Grande Valley will be celebrating with outdoor picnics, barbecues, and enjoying outdoor activities.
While we definitely want you to enjoy all those delicious foods, you’ll want to be extra careful about what you eat.
Consider enjoying these foods this upcoming Memorial Day weekend:
- – Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables: Foods with fiber help keep teeth and gums clean.
- – Dairy products: Cheese is the most popular dairy product and contains plenty of calcium along with other important minerals.
- – Black and green tea: Both of these teas contain polyphenols that interact with bacteria. These teas prevent bacteria from making acid and attacking teeth.
- – Foods with fluoride: Fluoridated food can help to strengthen teeth.
Some foods to avoid overindulging in include:
- – Sweets: Lollipops, caramels, hard candies, and certain types of chocolates have refined sugars that can cause serious damage to teeth.
- – Starchy foods: Starchy foods like potato chips can get trapped between the teeth and are harmful in the long run.
- – Carbonated soft drinks: Soft drinks are sugar filled and contain acids that can wear away at tooth enamel.