Your Elementary School Teacher Lied to You

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a Snapple fact among my collection that had to do with Valentine’s Day. However, with President’s Day coming up I thought it would be a good time for another Snapple fact: “George Washington had false teeth made of gold, ivory, and lead—but never wood.”George Washington Teeth

Sorry to disappoint you, but this fact is very true. People believe that his teeth were made from wood is because after a while the ivory in his dentures started to look like wood. The fact is that wood wasn’t used for dentures by dentists at all during the time.

While we’re on the topic, George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree either. Your elementary school teacher lied to you. Sorry you had to find out this way.

However, Washington’s teeth DID help him during the Revolutionary War. During the Yorktown Campaign in 1781, the British intercepted a letter from Washington asking for dental cleaning tools to be sent for him to New York, claiming that he will not be in Philadelphia. This lead the British forces to think that the American and French forces in New York would not go south and isolate the British base in Yorktown, and no reinforcements were necessary in the area. Considering the Battle of Yorktown was one of the biggest victories for America in the Revolutionary War (as in, the decisive victory for the Americans), it isn’t that difficult to figure out that the British were wrong.

So to sum up, if it wasn’t for Washington’s bad teeth, the Battle of Yorktown could have very well turned out differently. Go figure.

Final Verdict: True. Washington’s teeth were made of a lot of different materials, but wood was never one of them.

Sources:

http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-man-the-myth/the-trouble-with-teeth/

http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/wooden-teeth-myth/

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-yorktown-begins

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