Dental Care in Colonial Times

It was a combination of bad genes and even worse medical practices that led Washington down the path to becoming toothless.

Washington experienced many health problems throughout his life. And he was often treated with “calomel,” a common medicine at the time that contained mercury and ruined teeth.

Toothpaste at the time was also made from very abrasive material like tree bark and brick dust, which likely continued to break down Washington’s natural teeth.

Many people in Washington’s time had fake teeth, but none were made of wood. And, as gross as it sounds, rich citizens at the time were able to purchase real human teeth to fill in their own smile.More