Sunday, February 28, 2016

George Washington's Teeth

Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora
pictures by Brock Cole 2007

A little late for Presidents day, but a good one at anytime.  We all have heard the story of George Washington’s wooden teeth, but Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora tell the real history of our first president’s dental woes.  Plagued by tooth loss and decay, Washington gradually lost all of his teeth even in the midst of leading our country to independence.  Aided by a trusted dentist, he gradually fashioned pairs of dentures.  Although remarkably ingenious with springs and tiny screws, they were limited by the technology of the time and often caused him great pain and humiliation.  The book conveniently provides a timeline of Washington’s life (and tooth loss) and includes some pictures.  I was left with an even greater respect for the man who accomplished so much while enduring such suffering.  And it made us want to be more vigilant with our dental hygiene!

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