George Washington Gallery

Photograph of Dr. John Greenwood panel in George Washington Gallery

Immerse yourself in an 18th century presidential parlor; discover what the first President of the United States had to go through because of problems with his mouth and learn about Dr. John Greenwood, the man behind Washington's smile.

Cartoon depiction of George WashingtonWe cannot tell a lie.  He never had wooden teeth.

Contrary to popular belief, Washington never wore wooden dentures and neither did anyone in America.  Instead, his dentures were made primarly of ivory (most likely hoppopotamus) and used gold springs to hold them in place.

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The University of Maryland, Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry is a proud affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.