President’s Day Investigation – George Washington Had Wooden Teeth?

George Washington was plagued by dental disease almost his entire life. His adult teeth began falling out in his early 20’s. Others had to be extracted due to advanced decay. By the time he became president only one remained.

Because of this, Washington frequently sought out the help of dentists. During the Revolutionary War he became close to Franco-American dentist Jean-Pierre Le Mayeur, who became a lifelong friend. Later, during his presidency, Washington relied on dentist John Greenwood to fashion him several sets of false teeth. However, none were made from wood. One set was made from ivory and held together with gold springs, which is a bit more presidential than a hunk of wood. One pair of Washington’s dentures survives and is on view at his home in Mount Vernon.

George Washington’s story is a good reminder of how far we’ve come in dentistry. Despite the best efforts of Revolutionary Era dentists, Washington still suffered a lifetime of discomfort and regularly took laudanum (an opiate painkiller) to deal with the pain. His poor teeth also hurt his self-esteem and made him reluctant to give speeches.

Although there are many ways you should inspire to be like our nation’s first president, having unsightly teeth is not one of them. At Falmouth Dental Arts we offer dental solutions that fit your specific needs and budget for your complete comfort both physically and financially.  Most importantly, we will get your teeth functioning properly and looking beautiful once again. Call today to see how we can improve your smile.

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