When the first president of the United States was sworn into office in 1789, there were few dentists to attend to oral health issues. There certainly weren’t proven methods of relieving tooth decay besides extraction. So what’s a president to do?
Here are interesting dental tales of some of the most renowned president’s of our beloved America!
George Washington – President Washington had the misfortune of tooth loss from the age of 22. Contrary to the common myth that he had dentures made of wood, his dentures were actually made of ivory and gold and were made by his loyal dentist, John Greenwood.
John Adams – Our second president might have been the worst offender yet. President Adams refused to care for his teeth and eventually lost them all. Refusing to wear dentures, he developed a lisp when he spoke from the missing teeth. The fact that he smoked from a young age might have contributed to his teeth’s demise.
Thomas Jefferson – Not only did President Jefferson have the vision to order the Lewis-Clark expedition, he also took impeccable care of his teeth. At age 75, Jefferson penned, “I have not yet lost a tooth to age”.
Abraham Lincoln – President Lincoln may not be that different than a lot of people after all. He was reported to be deathly afraid of the dentist after a disastrous extraction left him with a broken jaw. Not one to shy away from help, President Lincoln eventually returned to the dentist with pain; this time he was prepared. Right before the dentist was about to extract his tooth, he pulled a bottle of chloroform from his pocket and self-medicated to ease the pain (we DO NOT recommend this).
William Taft and Ronald Reagan – Both men are said to have developed severe jaw issues. While President Taft’s jaw problem was treated and lasted for only 2 days, President Reagan was treated immediately, and the problem did not return for 3 years.
Woodrow Wilson – People were astonished to see his badly cared for teeth during his 1913 inauguration. Even more interesting is President Wilson’s stroke later in his presidency. Poor oral health has recently been linked to an increased risk for strokes.
Aren’t you grateful for the development of dentistry and dental technology?
Happy President’s Day from everyone at Delta Dental of Arkansas!