The reason George Washington doesn't like to laugh

The first President of the United States, George Washington, only had one tooth left when he took office in 1789, always wearing dentures.

Experts have taken a long time to decipher the mystery behind the stern face of former US President George Washington. He always appeared in public with a face that rarely smiled.

The reason George Washington doesn't like to laugh
George Washington often appears with a serious face. (Photo: National Portrait Gallery).

Experts explain that the former President had dental problems from a very young age. His teeth began to fall out at the age of 22. The causes are believed to be unhealthy diet, genetic problems and tooth decay. By the time he took office in 1789, he had only one tooth left.

Therefore, the greatest president of the United States must use dentures. The only set of teeth George Washington ever used that have survived to this day is found at the former Mount Vernon residence, now on display at the New York Institute of Medicine.

The reason George Washington doesn't like to laugh
Dentures of former President George Washington. (Photo: George Washington’s Mount Vernon).

Designed in the 18th century, the set of teeth did not fit into George’s jaw and caused him great pain. He could not eat or speak normally. The former President’s face was disfigured, his lips protruding strangely.

Dentures are made from simple paralytic objects compared to modern medical standards, even dangerous to users. However, George still expressed gratitude to the dentist. When he lost his last tooth, he asked Dr. John Greenwood to build a new lower jaw made of ivory, gold and brass.

According to experts, the first sets of dentures were extremely sturdy and left an unpleasant taste in the mouth. The jaws are made of lead. Teeth taken from donkeys, horses, cows or even humans, connected by wire, fixed by metal springs. In order not to make unusual noises, former President George Washington often had to grind his teeth when speaking.

George Washington’s pathology laid the foundation for the medical profession of the time. The 18th century became a turning point for dentistry. Experts consider this a premise for future oral care methods.