Spend the day with us! The mouth of George Washington has a number of myths attached to it, including the tale of the cherry tree, but the most persistent is that he had wooden dentures. Le Mayeur probably fashioned a partial set of false teeth for Washington; the Frenchman also advertised he was experienced at "transplanting...put[ting] natural teeth instead of false," but no definitive evidence indicates he attempted such operations on Washington.1 Le Mayeur and Washington quickly became friends, and Le Mayeur was a guest at Mount Vernon on multiple occasions in the mid-1780s. The dentures had metal fasteners, springs to force them open, as well as bolts to keep them together. He began wearing partial dentures by 1781. Paintings of Washington from later in his life all seem to show changes in the shape of his jaw and mouth. "Jean Le Mayeur to George Washington, 2 November 1785," ed. In a Christmas Day 1782 letter, Washington wrote to Lund Washington, his distant cousin and the temporary manager of Mount Vernon, requesting that the teeth be wrapped up and sent to him in Newburgh, New York. (MVLA). We don't accept government funding and rely upon private contributions to help preserve George Washington's home and legacy. It’s quite possible that some of his dentures, particularly after they had been stained, took on a wooden complexion, but wood was never used in the construction of any of his dental fittings. The dentures are “absolutely invaluable as an antiquity,” according to Dr Aisenberg. Dr Greenwood enclosed a bill for $15, a high figure in those days. Prior to Washington's service in the Revolutionary War, Dr. John Baker, the first dentist to fashion false teeth for Washington, fabricated a partial denture with ivory that was wired to Washington's remaining real teeth. Since Washington paid for the teeth it suggests that they were either for his own use or for someone in his family. Need help with homework? Real Story Behind George Washington’s False Teeth George Washington is known as the founding father of the United States, but one bizarre American history fact is the story behind his wooden teeth. That year, he started wearing full sets of dentures made from ivory and human teeth. Discover what made Washington "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen". George Washington owned many sets of dentures. All of Washington's dentures caused him pain and produced facial disfigurement, described by George Washington Parke Custis as "a marked change...in the appearance...more especially in the projection of the under lip." When George Washington was inaugurated for his first term as president in 1789, he had only one natural tooth remaining and was wearing his first full set of dentures made by John Greenwood. The two eventually grew quite close, and Le Mayeur was a frequent visitor to Mount Vernon in the years just after the close of the Revolutionary War. George Washington's false teeth not wooden. Mount Vernon is owned and maintained in trust for the people of the United States by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, a private, non-profit organization. What Clinton did not know was that Washington and Rochambeau had just planned out their movement south to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown. John Greenwood quoted in Malvin E. Ring, "John Greenwood, Dentist to President Washington," California Dental Association Journal 38, no. The ivory dentures also tended to stain easily, requiring extensive maintenance such as cleaning with wax and "some chalk and a Pine or Ceder stick" and "soake[ing]...in Broath."5. The crude, handmade prosthesis, comprising both upper and lower teeth, is displayed in a circular glass case permitting a 360-degree view. Many contemporaries and historians have postulated that George Washington’s constant dental woes greatly diminished the President’s desire and ability to speak. But counter to what you may have heard about the Founding Father's ill-fitting dentures… Gerry Broome/AP Photo. 3. One of the most popular historical exhibits at Mount Vernon, originally the estate of the first President of the United States and now a monument to his life and legacy, is a set of the great mans dentures. The DAT is measured on a range from 1 to 30, and the mean for dental school enrollees is about 20. Discover what made Washington "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen". She will be very glad if he will do them as those she has is almost broak [sic][.]". Dentures worn by George Washington. Part of a denture made by Greenwood is owned by the New York Academy of Medicine as is the decorative case holding Washington’s last tooth. Confederation Series, vol. 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