An educational film that demonstrates Dr. Fred D. Miller's strategies for the prevention of tooth decay.
The film introduces Dr. Fred D. Miller, a dentist and nutritionist based in Altoona, Pennsylvania, whose patients are described as enjoying, "unusually good dental health." In a scripted scene, Dr. Miller telephones a patient's mother, praises the patient's dental health, and turns to the camera to ask the question, "Would you like to know the secret, too?" The following footage shows magnified closeups taken in a single day of 32 patients' perfectly conditioned teeth all between the ages of 5 and 28, contrasted with closeups of young patients' decaying teeth. Accompanying narration provided by Dr. Miller emphasizes, "they and their parents didn't realize the importance of what they eat."
The scene shifts to footage of animals grazing on farms and in the wild, and the narrator notes, "rarely does a land animal lose a tooth through decay...they eat what they find where they live, and find a balanced diet naturally."
The scene shifts to x-ray footage that depicts a pair of human jaws chewing while the narrator describes certain food's inclination to cling and stick to teeth, while other food naturally helps to clean them. Dr. Miller utilizes a diagram of a single tooth to explain the cavity's entry point within the enamel, and then introduces John Ott and his time lapse photography apparatus as a means to examine how a cavity forms. As Ott describes an experimental setup in which an undecayed tooth encased in plastic is exposed to a tube filled with an ordinary flavored beverage, his time-lapse photography shows how the beverage slowly penetrates the tooth over a period of several months.
The scene shifts to several patients of Dr. Miller who demonstrate how chewing an apple can rid the teeth of other remaining food, and how the juicy flavor of an apple itself causes the mouth to produce saliva, which in turn helps to protect the teeth from decay.
The film concludes as Dr. Miller provides the answer to the secret of dental health, "The most important thing is what you eat and when you eat it...clean your teeth with an apple. End your meal with a fruit. It's fun to be healthy."
Based upon Dr. Miller's studies that indicated the apple helped to cleanse teeth particularly well, secretary of the National Apple Institute Truman Nold enlisted professional medical assistance to investigate, and the National Apple Institute eventually teamed with Dr. Miller and Ott to produce Dr. Fred D. Miller and the Gateway to Health. Dr. Miller also wrote on the subject in his book, Open Door to Health, published in 1959.