How Do Turkeys Eat without Teeth? And Other Turkey Facts

A healthy human mouth contains 32 teeth, each with a specific purpose in the food-chewing process. Crocodiles have 60 teeth at any one time, but with all of its replacement teeth, it can grow up to 3,000 teeth in its lifetime. Sharks lose teeth every week and can grow up to 20,000 teeth throughout its life. Turkeys, on the other hand, like many other birds, do not have teeth. To honor the traditional Thanksgiving Day bird, Lake Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal explores how turkeys eat without the benefit of teeth, as well as other fun turkey facts you may not know, and will probably never need to.

All About Turkeys

  • Teeth or no teeth, turkeys have to eat. They do so by first picking their food up with their beaks. In lieu of teeth, the turkey secretes saliva onto the food that helps break the food down and begin the digestion process. Its tongue pushes the feed to the back of the mouth, where it is swallowed. The grain is stored in a pocket of the esophagus called the crop for safe consumption later.
  • Did you know there’s a National Turkey Federation? The Federation, which is not related to any diplomatic agencies from the Turkish nation, estimates that nearly 45 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day. Other popular turkey dinners include Christmas, where 22 million turkeys are devoured, and Easter, which enjoys about 19 million turkey dinners.
  • Archaeological evidence suggests that the first society to confine, if not domesticate, a Turkey was the Southwest Indians, nearly 2,000 years ago.  Scientists still believe, however, that the Aztecs were the first to tame the wild and dangerous fowl.
  • Thanksgiving became a national holiday under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Supposedly, magazine editor Sarah Joseph Hale organized the campaign that influenced his action. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday a week forward.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Everyone here at Lake Country Orthodontics would like to wish you all a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving. Impress your friends and family with the knowledge you’ve learned today! To learn more about our office and orthodontic services, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846 to schedule a consultation with your Lake Worth orthodontist. Located in the 76135 area, we proudly serve families from Lake Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, Lake Worth, and all surrounding communities.