Saturday, September 05, 2009

George Washington's Dentures

I am not sure this is true (although you can find pictures on the internet that suggest it is), but I'm never going to look at those portraits of George Washington (or the $1 bill) the same way again:
For me, the most interesting part of the story about George’s teeth is the mechanism of their fabrication. The upper and lower gold plates were connected by springs which pushed the upper and lower plates against the upper and lower ridges of his mouth to hold them in place. Washington actually had to actively close his jaws together to make his teeth bite together. If he relaxed, his mouth would pop open. There is speculation that this is the reason that the Father of Our Country always looks so stern in his portraits. Take a look at a dollar bill. George isn’t upset - he’s just trying to keep his teeth in!!!

Hat tip to The Other McCain.


  1. Nice post - pictures of dentures ..Keep Posting

    pictures of dentures

  2. Anonymous6:42 PM

    I am not making this up. A excellent GW history appeared today on National Geographic channel. One of the most bizarre facts in U.S. history was discussed: many of the teeth that were placed in George Washington's dentures were PULLED FROM THE MOUTHS OF SLAVES. those stolen teeth were then put into the first president of the United States. thank gawd Lincoln came along....

  3. Anonymous6:52 PM

    video showing George Washington's "teeth" -- some that were stolen from living slaves -- can be seen at

  4. @ David! Hi! So that's the reason why every time I see George Washington's portrait he looks so stern. I wonder how dentures look like in the 1700's.

    Oh yeah, while on the subject, last week I went to my dentists' in Hattiesburg, MS and they told me that I might need to wear full braces. Gee, I was reluctant at first but I'm grateful that my Hattiesburg dentists explained to me everything. Well, I just hope that I don't look grumpy in my photos, too. LOL.

    Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing Elektratig.

  5. This is an interesting post about George Washington teeth. We can get clear idea about dental implants on that stage of the history.


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