George Washington is arguably one of our most celebrated presidents we’ve ever had. Not only a forefather of our great country, but a great leader. But his legacy isn’t just leadership achievements, it also has some interesting myths. We’ve all heard the cherry tree myth, where he famously stated he “cannot tell a lie”. But have you heard the idea that George Washington had wooden teeth? It’s true. Well, it’s sort of true.
It is no myth that George Washington had dental issues. At the time, it wasn’t tough to develop dental problems, especially in the military. And since dental technology was primitive at best, poor dental health was a general throughout his entire career. Because of these issues, he wore various sets of dentures constructed of ivory, gold and lead. Unfortunately, wood was never even an option at the time. Myth busted.
So why do we think he had wooden teeth? Well, dental scientists and historians believe it was due to the ivory set he used. As with all of us, teeth become stained over time. Because they were made of ivory, these studies lead us to believe the stained ivory gave the impression of wood.
Believe it or not, when George Washington did his First Inaugural Address in 1789, he only had one natural tooth, so the dentures were definitely necessary, and because they weren’t constructed as well as they are today, they were very painful to wear. This dental pain forced him to have a dour expression at all times. It is possible the myth was construed to make President Washington more relatable and less remote.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental restorations, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.
Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.