Were George Washington’s Teeth Really Made Of Wood?

Dec 21, 2013

The fourth of July is only two weeks away. That means heading to the supermarket to pick up some hot dogs and hamburgers, throwing them on the grill, and enjoying the nighttime fireworks. It is also a time to reflect on the history of our great nation and the founding fathers who fought for our freedom, like George Washington, for example. It is common knowledge that he was the leader of the Patriot army, our nation’s first president, and he is the face on the dollar bill. However, the myth that should be discussed at this year’s fourth of July barbecue is the one that has haunted dentists in our nation for years: what was wrong with George Washington’s teeth?

The first President started losing teeth when he was in his mid-twenties, but the myth that he replaced his missing teeth with wooden teeth is…false. He actually replaced them with an expensive set of dentures. Those dentures were made from gold, ivory, lead, human and animal teeth (horse and donkey teeth were common components.) I am not sure that sounds any more appealing than wooden teeth, but it does debunk this rumor.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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