The President Wore Dentures

The President Wore Dentures

George Washington wore dentures. Legend says Washington carved his own teeth from wood, but research shows his dentures were “state of the art” for his time. George Washington lost his first permanent tooth when he was 22 — and had only one natural tooth left when he was inaugurated president in 1789.

According to The National Museum of Dentistry, George Washington’s teeth were a combination of gold, ivory, lead, human and animal teeth. The dentures were held open with gold springs and held shut with bolts. The dentures provided to George Washington improved his smile and filled his cheeks for his presidential portraits, but comfort and function did not exist.

History records that Washington brushed his teeth with dental powder daily but Washington also had many diseases common at the time such as malaria, flu, and small pox. The common treatment for these diseases was mercurous chloride which is harmful to teeth. Even today, certain medical conditions require extreme treatments such as chemotherapy and teeth can suffer from the therapy.
It’s good to be living in the 21st century and George would be first in line for the quality denture therapy available today. Technology and materials have made tooth replacement with dentures a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing option for tooth loss from any cause.

Replacement teeth are made in many sizes and colors. Even the acrylic base is tinted to blend with the wearer’s ethnicity. The doctor and trained staff members oversee detailed measurements while considering the patient’s goals.

Dentistry and tooth restoration have made quantum leaps in the last one-half century. Porcelain restorations, crowns, bridges, and implants have made the impossible possible. However, there continues to be those who suffer tooth loss for many reasons. A statistical table compiled by Orawave, a dental products corporation, shows the following:

  • 57% of Americans age 65 to 74 wear dentures
  • 51% of Americans age 55 to 64 wear either full or partial dentures
  • 29% of Americans age 45 to 55 wear either full or partial dentures
  • 16% of Americans age 35 to 44 wear either full or partial dentures
  • 3% of Americans age 18 to 34 wear dentures

Dentures and partial dentures are a practical solution to tooth loss and the consequences of missing teeth. Obviously, nutrition suffers when foods must be chosen to accommodate an inability to chew. Appearance suffers as cheeks sag and lips turn in. George Washington actually stuffed his cheeks with cotton when sitting for a portrait.

If a new denture wearer has been without teeth for a long while, insertion of a denture may cause biting of the cheeks and tongue. Surprisingly, as the teeth are lost, the tissues of the mouth (cheeks and tongue) actually grow to fill the void. This phenomenon is not unlike a gold fish. If the fish is kept in a small household fish bowl, it will remain small. If, however, the fish is allowed to live in a large pool, the fish will grow to many times the size of his brother in the bowl. As the mouth becomes accustomed to the new denture, these tissues will shrink and return to a more normal size.

At Star Dental Institute, Inc, we want you to enjoy the healthful benefits of tooth replacement and we want you to “Smile Again”. With our state of the art dental practice and our on-site laboratory, we can have you smiling again in just one day, in most cases.


Our experienced and skilled staff is dedicated to serving your denture needs in the most efficient manner possible. In most cases we will complete your procedure and deliver your dentures the same day.


Star Dental Institute
2620 Tenderfoot Hill St #210
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Phone: 719-597-7979
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Monday – Friday (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) Saturday - Sunday (Closed)


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