Did George Washington Really Have False Teeth?

George Washington did have false teeth, but despite the common misconception, they were not made of wood. Though primitive by today's standards, Washington's dentures were constructed from ivory, brass screws, gold wire springs and human teeth. Examples of these dentures can be seen at the Mount Vernon Museum.

Washington suffered from dental problems most of his adult life. By the time he won the presidency, he retained only a single original tooth. Over the course of his career, Washington worked with several different dentists to achieve a more permanent solution. Each new version gave his features a slightly different look, which explains why the shape of his face changes between portraits.