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George Washington's false teeth

George Washington's false teeth

N850/0025

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Credit

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

George Washington's false teeth. George Washington, the first president of the USA, had a life-long problem with his teeth. Between the ages of 22 and 57 they were all extracted and a false pair had to be made. Although popular myth has it that the dentures were wooden, they were in fact made from gold, ivory, lead, and human and animal teeth. Metal springs were used to hold the teeth in Washington's mouth. The springs pushed the upper and lower plates against the inside of Washington's mouth. Washington had to actively bite his teeth together to prevent his mouth from being pushed open, which some historians believe is why Washington looks stern in later portraits.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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