Do you know anything about the Presidents of the United States and their dental health?
When thinking about dentistry and our presidents, you probably immediately think of George Washington and his wooden teeth, right? However, you should probably know that this common legend is not entirely true…
More likely than not, George Washington’s teeth themselves were not wooden. At the time, replacement teeth would have been taken from people who were diseased. So what was wooden in Washington’s smile? Probably his denture base! It was not uncommon at the time at all for denture bases (or artificial gums) to be made of wood.
While the story of Washington and his wooden teeth is by far the most well known, it isn’t the only story about presidents and dentistry. Unfortunately, most stories we hear about our presidents are due to a poor relationship with the dentist.
Take President Lincoln for example. President Lincoln disliked the dentist so much that, at one point in time, he actually opted to remove his own tooth that was giving him problems. This turned out to be a poor decision (shocking!). While trying to remove his tooth, President Lincoln also removed part of his jaw bone… OUCH!
In addition to Lincoln and Washington, presidents Wilson and Adams both neglected their teeth and have interesting dental tales of their own. Due to losing all of his teeth, President Adams talked with a noticeable lisp. As for President Wilson, all you have to do see a picture from his inauguration.
Hopefully, you can learn a lesson from the fathers of our country and take care of your hygiene and teeth!