There are a lot of stories about dentistry throughout history. One of the most famous is of our own founding father, George Washington, When we hear stories about our first President, we often hear his dentures were made of wood.
Even in school, teachers would mention this fun information, is this just a tall tail or is there any truth to it?
Well, the answer is yes...and no! It is most likely that our founding fathers denture base (or artificial gums) was made of wood, very common at the time, however, the teeth would have derived from a different source: other people's teeth! Most likely from soldiers who had died in battle.
President Washington wasn't the only US President to have an interesting relationship with dental work and the dentist. It is rumored the President Abraham Lincoln had a great fear of the dentist and elected to extract a tooth on his own! This ended up becoming a very painful idea when he accidentally removed a part of his jaw bone! From that day on he left the dentistry to the experts!
Some Presidents were known for their poor tooth health. John Adams and Woodrow Wilson were two US Presidents that did not pay enough attention to their teeth and this resulted in Adam's losing all of his teeth and speaking with a pronounced lisp. Wilson's inaugural picture shocked many when they viewed his horrendous smile! They could've used Wilmington Family Dental to help correct these cosmetic dental issues and to create a beautiful smile!
These are just a few of the historical facts American Presidential dental history has to offer. Stick around for our next blog on dentistry throughout the ages!
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Much of the history of dentistry is pretty intriguing. From the first recorded doctor of the tooth, Hesy-Re, an Egyptian who lived around 2600 BC; to Aristotle, the famous philosopher, who wrote of an ancient form of braces to straighten teeth; to the father of modern dentistry, Pierre Fauchard, who, in 1728, was the first to apply a jewelers enamel over a thin gold plate.
Who would've thought that dental history could be so captivating? Wonder what other stories the dental trade has to offer throughout the years?
Here are a few more fun facts from this fascinating history:
Queen Elizabeth was known to have discolored teeth. Why? Due to a popular and ancient myth, she believed in something called a dental worm that burrowed into teeth and caused sharp pain. To combat this worm she consumed copious amounts of sugar!
The first bristle toothbrush was invented in China during the Tang Dynasty and was made from stiff hogs hair!
The Maya Civilization used sea shells to replace teeth and are the earliest known example of dental implants (At Wilmington Family Dental, we still use implants to replace missing or lost teeth).
From the 5th to the 15th century you could have your dental work done by your barber! Barber-surgeons could give you the latest style and pull a few teeth while your hair was drying! This combination profession often performed surgery on the battlefield and in their shops. This the reason barber poles are red and white today!
These are just a few of the historical facts dentistry has to offer. To learn more about dental history visit the American Dental Association.
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