978-232-9003

Meng-Chieh Lee D.D.S., M.M.Sc.

George Washington’s Dentures

Famous Dentures for the Fourth of July

You may be familiar with the story of George Washington’s wooden dentures – he chopped down a tree and carved them himself! However, this isn’t quite true.

Washington’s false teeth were actually made out of materials commonly used in dentistry at the time, like hippopotamus teeth and elephant ivory. The enamel on these teeth was usually quite textured and grainy. That texture, along with Washington’s fondness for dark red wine, would stain the teeth and leave lines similar to wood grain – leading to the myth about wooden teeth!

The plates of the dentures were usually cast in metal. Metalsmiths like Paul Revere occasionally used to make the denture themselves. They would carefully entwine the false teeth into the metal plate with curled wire.

These types of dentures were quite uncomfortable, unfortunately. Washington is suspected of having ruined several pairs of his by “tweaking” them in an attempt to make them feel more comfortable.

Thankfully, dentures have come a long way! Modern ones are made of resin, nylon, or porcelain. These materials are much more lightweight and comfortable than the previous generations. Modern materials also allow for natural-looking, beautiful smiles that function.

Dentures have come a long way since George Washington.

If you’re in need of dentures, don’t chop down your neighborhood tree- call Beverly Restorative and Implant Dentistry Center! We can help get you the comfortable, natural-looking denture you need.

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