You may have heard about George Washington’s wooden teeth. Did you ever question this story and think wooden teeth probably wouldn't do well in a wet, moist mouth?
You are right. His teeth were not made of wood, but his four sets of dentures were made of gold, ivory, lead, and human and animal teeth such as horse and donkey teeth.
He lost his first tooth at 22 years old and even after using tooth powder daily over the next 35 years he lost the rest of his teeth and had to get dentures.
Before putting down George Washington's dental hygiene, keep in mind that he had smallpox, malaria and the flu. Back in the 1700s there were no antibiotics like we have today. The treatments for these illnesses included calomel (mercurous chloride), which is known to destroy teeth.
As a result of his medical treatment and naturally weak teeth, he had toothaches and extractions every year. He often wrote famous dentists to ask for a file to repair a denture, or a scraper to clean his teeth, or pincers to put wires on his teeth.
When he was inaugurated to his first term as president, he had only one natural tooth left and wore his first set of complete dentures. They were called his Greenwood dentures and had a base of hippopotamus ivory that was carved to fit the gums. The upper dentures had ivory teeth and the lower plate had eight human teeth fastened by gold pivots screwed to the base.
His dental pain caused him to not give his second inaugural address, and later on he could only eat soft food. To prevent teeth pain like George Washington endured, you should brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and visit your dentist for bi-annual checkups.
Contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry to set up your appointment today.