Happy Presidents’ Day! Hopefully you all had a restful weekend full of relaxation and fun with family and friends.
In honor of Presidents’ Day, we wanted to share a little known secret about one of the most famous presidents of all time: George Washington.
Many of you may have heard that George Washingon’s teeth were made of wood. Well, prepare for that myth to be debunked. As it turns out, his various sets of dentures were actually made of gold, lead and ivory.
“Where would a myth like this come from?”, you might ask. Well, sources say that it could be from all the staining his dentures endured that may have caused them to seem wooden in appearance.
In fact, John Greenwood, Washington’s dentist, penned him a letter in 1978 stressing the importance of keeping them clean: “the sett you sent me from philadelphia…was very black…Port wine being sower takes of[f] all the polish.”
Some of the details pertaining to this myth are partially (no pun intended) true, however. For example, it is said that Washington carved the wooden teeth himself. While this is not true, it is true that he once repaired his own set of dentures made by Greenwood. This serves as a testament of the health sacrifices Washington made in the name of public service.
Another fun fact: he delivered his First Inaugural Address in 1789 when he had only a single remaining natural tooth. During this address, he pointed to the “frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time.”
Possibly the reason why this myth has continued to stand the test of time is due to the fact that it makes Washington seem more relateable; like a normal human being with everyday struggles rather than the serious, stone-faced individual he was often made out to be.
Wooden teeth or not, you don’t want to ever find yourself in a situation where you need dentures of any kind, if you can help it! (And if you do, to each their own.) However, make sure to brush and floss at least once a day to keep those natural teeth in tip-top shape!
As always, feel free to give us a call at (805) 413-4828 to set an appointment and our team will be happy to take care of all your dental needs. (Except wooden teeth. We don’t make wooden teeth.)