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Friday, 16 January 2015

False Teeth

False teeth made from ivory and bone held together with strips of gold were worn by the Etruscans of Northern Italy around 700BC.

George Washington used to be fond of cracking Brazil nuts between his jaws, which resulted in him loosing his teeth. He had at least four sets of false teeth, some of which were extracted from the mouths of his slaves.

Washington used cannabis to ease the pain from his bad fitting false dentures.

Washington once contacted a leading dentist in Philadelphia who produced a state of art set of teeth carved from hippopotamus tusk thoughtfully drilled with a hole to accommodate his one remaining tooth.

Washington soaked his ivory dentures every night in port to improve their flavour. As a result they were in frequent need of being sent away for the removal of port stains. Unfortunately, his false teeth turned brown and gave out a nasty whiff, so they had to be discarded.

                                18th century Carved ivory dentures

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, having all your teeth removed and replaced with false ones was a popular 21st-birthday present.

Before all-porcelain false teeth were perfected in the mid-nineteenth century, dentures were commonly made with teeth pulled with pliers from battlefield casualties. A huge amount of teeth from those who perished in the American Civil War were shipped across the Atlantic by the barrel for the rich and fashionable British. Many already showed signs of decay so were rejected but the ones in good condition were fixed into sockets drilled in plates of hippo jaw, which were then fitted over the gums.

At one time springs were fitted to dentures to ensure they opened simultaneously with the mouth. There was always the danger of one of the springs catching, resulting in the entire set of teeth popping out of the unfortunate diner’s mouth in the middle of a meal.

After Japanese War Criminal Hideki Tojo was arrested, he was given new dentures while he awaited a trial, the American dentist who made them secretly drilled "Remember Pearl Harbour" into them in morse code.

In Vermont, USA, women require their husbands permission to wear false teeth.

A maxillary denture. Eddau~commonswiki 

On average, half of all false teeth have some form of radioactivity.

Liechtenstein, the world’s sixth smallest country, is the largest exporter of false teeth.

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