Historical Dental Trivia from Your Chicago Dentist

In honor of Presidents’ Day, Dr. James Fondriest and our staff at Lake Forest Dental Arts have composed some interesting trivia on George Washington’s oral health. Despite his ability to rally troops at Valley Forge and effectively lead our country as the first President of the United States, George Washington was plagued with oral health problems his entire life. Unfortunately, his dental health caused him great discomfort too. We can say with great confidence that tooth replacement methods have greatly improved since the colonial period.

George Washington’s Dental Health

  • President Washington suffered from periodontal (gum).
  • He began losing teeth at age 22.
  • By the time he was President, he only had one tooth left.
  • George Washington never wore wooden dentures. He did have many sets of false teeth but they were made from elephant ivory, hippopotamus tusk, gold, and natural teeth instead.
  • At Mount Vernon, George Washington’s dental hygiene kit is on display for the public. He used a toothbrush and tongue scraper made of silver.
  • In his lifetime, George Washington visited 8 dentists. His favorite dentist was John Greenwood.
  • To clean his dentures, George Washington’s dentist advised that he soak them in port wine overnight.
  • During surgery for a severely abscessed tooth, George Washington’s left cheek was scarred.

With modern dentistry our patients have more options for replacing teeth and preventing tooth loss than our ancestors. Additionally, our patients won’t have to suffer from the lifelong discomfort that President Washington endured. Dr. Fondriest offers tooth replacement options such as dental implants and bridges. Utilizing modern technology, our team will craft the smile of your dreams.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fondriest, contact Lake Forest Dental Arts at (847) 234-0517. We improve smiles in Glenview, Lake Forest, North Shore, Highland Park, Winnetka, Chicago, and the neighboring communities.

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