George Washington’s Mythical Dentures

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Were you aware that in 1976, more than 150 years after his death, George Washington was promoted to Six Star General in the U.S. military? This highest promotion was created just for Washington, meaning that no military officer can ever outrank him. Read on to learn a small bit more about Washington’s famous false teeth.

George Washington is perhaps the most famous denture-wearer to Americans, but multiple of the things we’ve heard aren’t quite right. Though John Adams claimed Washington lost his pearly whites due to his love of Brazil nuts and his penchant to break them open with his teeth, historians believe that it was mercury oxide, a widely-used medicine at the time, that probably caused Washington’s tooth loss issue.

Contrary to common belief, none of Washington’s pearly whites were fashioned of wood: Washington’s four sets of dentures were developed from materials including hippo ivory, elephant ivory and real human teeth. Sadly, Washington’s oral problems left him in near-constant pain. Today, dentures are made from composite resins that make sure toughness and real-life resemblance; please ask us about dentures on your next checkup if you or a loved one are missing several pearly whites.

Arrange your appointment by calling 765-447-0322 now, or come into our Lafayette, Indiana, office to talk to Dr. Greg Ortman and the Ortman Family Dentistry staff directly.