There are a lot of stories about dentistry throughout history. One of the most famous is of our own founding father, George Washington. When we hear stories about our first President, we often hear his dentures were made of wood. Even in school, teachers would mention this fun information, but is there any truth to it?
This question is answered with a yes and no. Typically, at that time the base of the dentures, artificial gums, were made of wood. However, the teeth themselves were made from different sources like other people's teeth. More than likely our founding father's teeth would have been from soldiers who died in battle.
While George Washington gets all the attention of interesting dental facts amongst US Presidents he is not alone. It is rumored that President Abraham Lincoln had an extreme fear of the dentist. His fear was so extreme, in fact, that when he needed to have a tooth extraction - he did it on his own. This was a huge mistake. In extracting his tooth he accidentally removed part of his jaw bone as well.
Other presidents were also know for having subpar dental health. It is known that John Adams talked with a lisp, the reason for this is that he lost some of his teeth due to poor dental care. After he lost his teeth he started talking to a lisp. Additionally, when Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated his picture made waves due to his ugly smile.
These are some of our favorite stories of the dental kind amongst US Presidents. Our next blog will take a look at dentistry throughout the ages.