Our First President’s Troublesome Teeth

Did you know that George Washington was afflicted with dental problems all his adult life? Letters and diary entries make regular reference to aching teeth, lost teeth, inflamed gums, ill-fitting dentures, and a number of other dental problems. One of the most enduring myths about Washington is that his dentures were made of wood. It’s possible that some of his dentures, after they had been stained, took on a wooden complexion, but wood was never used in the construction of any of his dental work. His numerous partial and full dentures were actually made from materials including bone, hippopotamus ivory, human teeth, brass screws, lead, and gold metal wire. Aren’t you glad for the advancements in dental technology since the 1700’s! (information courtesy of Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association).

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