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George Washington's Teeth

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  262 ratings  ·  57 reviews
A tongue-in-cheek dental history of our first President

"Poor George had two teeth in his mouth
The day the votes came in.
The people had a President,
But one afraid to grin."

From battling toothaches while fighting the British, to having rotten teeth removed by his dentists, the Father of His Country suffered all his life with tooth problems. Yet, contrary to popular belief, h
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 3rd 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published 2003)
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Jaws by Peter BenchleyIn the Teeth of the Evidence by Dorothy L. SayersWhite Fang by Jack LondonDracula by Bram StokerService with a Smile by P.G. Wodehouse
16th out of 71 books — 17 voters
So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. GeorgeJohn, Paul, George & Ben by Lane SmithAbe Lincoln's Dream by Lane SmithI am Abraham Lincoln by Brad MeltzerWhat To Do About Alice? by Barbara Kerley
Picture Books About American Presidents
38th out of 77 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

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I had no idea that George Washington really had so many issues with his teeth! I originally picked this up for one of my read's for my kids in honor of President's Day. It looked cute and thought it might peek the curiosity of my 5 yr old. He asked if it was true when we were finished, and it was then that I found the actual documented GW teeth history in the back of the book! Not only did I know nothing about this, it was fascinating! To me and my son! And the book chronicles the issues of losi ...more
CH13_ Helen Budeyskaya
This book was very amussing to read. I think it would be a great choice to use during a President's day theme for younger kids. Students will enjoy reading this humerous book, with many colorful illustrations. The illustrations do a great job showing what is happening and sequencing the events. In addition, the book does rhyme; therefore students will enjoy putting the story together.

I would not read this book for too many facts. It is a light-hearted book that could be used during a presidents
This book is based on Washington's diaries and letters, which chronicled his tooth probleams. My daughter, 8, thought this rhyming book was hilarious and she's right. Funny with history thrown in is perfect for kids. There is a time-line in the back that gives even more information.
Scott Volz
George Washington's dental dillemas are presented in rhyming verse in this picture book by Deborah Chandra and Madeline Comora. Though the general thrust of the book follows documented history--the authors provide a detailed chronology of Washington's teeth troubles in the back of the book--there is a degree of play and looseness with character and situation.

If you want a fun, fast-paced picture book about George Washington, this book might be a winner. If you want a history lesson in picture-b
What a cute book, but poor George Washington. Andrew and I just finished a Magic Tree House book about the Revolutionary War so I thought this would be a good to build off of. Really, the poor Father of Our Country had major problems with his teeth and was in pain a lot. This book is written in rhyme which made a boring topic (to a 7 year old) interesting.
“George Washington's Teeth” is a humorous and historic retelling of the first pair of dentures made. Told chronologically, the reader witnesses the pain, frustrations, and embarrassment and George slowly becomes toothless while fighting in the war. He tries cotton balls and false teeth made with springs, but nothing seems to work. That is until he decides to make dentures with his old teeth.
By writing the tale in verse, the two authors add to the lighthearted tone of the story. The story is b
Heather Dunbar
This book was very informational, and even has a timeline in the back! While this book wasn’t terribly exciting and fun, it was definitely easier to read than any textbook I’ve ever seen. I think it would make a great supplemental book for a history class, or for a child that’s mildly interested in the past. Overall, a good book.
Rebecca Sherod
This book, while still giving an accurate depiction of George Washington’s life and accomplishments, goes into detail about the trouble he experienced with his teeth, which presents the information in a fun and funny way while also giving information about what was going on in this specific time period. The title and cover draw the reader in, and the simple word choice and fun rhyme scheme keep kids entertained while reading it.
The layout of the book matches the fun aspect of the text. The in
Jennifer Patrick
I know it's a kids book, but the end of the book had a serious time line of President Washington's dental problems. Poor man! Most people can't function with 1 sore tooth & he won a war, started a new nation & served as president with a mouthful of rot.
Kate Hastings
Aug 01, 2007 Kate Hastings rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: K-4
Shelves: nonfiction
Fun book to read for Presidents Day or any day! Washington actually recorded the loss of his teeth in his journal! Funny stuff.
Nov 14, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Stories abound about George Washington, and from what I've read, many of them are false (the wooden teeth, the incident with the cherry tree, etc.) So, when we discovered this book about his teeth, we were excited to learn the truth.

This story helps to give the reader a brief background on his life, but with the context of what happened to his teeth along the way. It's a fantastic story and we were surprised about the dental troubles he experienced. The colorful illustrations complement the sto
Melissa Hazelbaker
This is quite a funny book that I enjoy reading to my kids during this time of the year. It is perfect for not only President's Day, but also for Dental Health month. It talks about President Washington's dental health problems and how he would record his loss of teeth in a journal. I especially like it because it really does rhyme all the way through. My kids are excited to listen to it and discuss every year. They are shocked to hear about President Washington's dental problems!
Dana Pressnell
Fictional counting book about president losing his teeth. Detailed time line in back of book provides information about many mouth infections Washington suffered with. No wooden teeth for George.
I really enjoyed this story about George Washington. It's an account of a very personal and painful part of Washington's life. I am so glad the author wrote a book specifically on this subject. The historian in me especially liked the timeline after the story that shows when he lost what teeth, bits of diary entries and letters referring to his dental situation, and paintings. It's no wonder the poor man always looked so somber and grumpy in his portraits! This story also illustrates that despit ...more
A great example of having a question and finding an answer. We've all heard the stories about George Washington having wooden teeth. In this book, the author uses engaging bites of information found in letters and other sources to put together the puzzle of George Washington's dental history. Written in catchy rhyme, the author does a great job of making a potentially snoozing subject interesting. You can't help but feel terrible for Washington and the pain he endured through his toothaches. The ...more
Although the rhythm and cadence of the story is lighthearted for children, the agony and pain of Washington's infected and rotting teeth must have been unbearable at times for our first president. Children will learn of his problematic dental situation, and may have some empathy with the trouble a cavity or sore mouth can cause. Washington is embarrassed and troubled by the facial oddity the toothless profile gives him, and seeks out many dentists and solutions to the problem. The timelime at th ...more
I’m not really a fan of rhyming children’s books, but I like the concept here—telling George Washington’s history by focusing on his rotten teeth. Could’ve used a short teacher’s note explaining different tooth hygiene through different historical periods. I wondered how much of this was historically accurate. I’m sure George Washington had bad teeth—who didn’t in colonial days?—but whether the incidents happened organized around the bad teeth or not, I have my doubts. Still, there’s a Timeline ...more
example of Informative fiction
told in rhyme
shelved in JP section at library
I had no idea Washington struggled so much with his teeth, and from such a young age!!! This book was easy to read and informative and gave me an even greater appreciation for Mr. George!
Interesting history of Washington's dental problems.
This was fun and very interesting. The author treats Washington's dental problems with respect - instead of poking fun of him or mocking him, she discusses the pain yet patience he had and how those dental problems coincided with historic events. At the end of the book is a timeline with quite a bit of detail.

We learned a lot we didn't know about him and the kids really enjoyed the different view. It is a book worth checking out if you can find it, but I'm not sure I'd pay money to own it. Unle
This is one of my daughter's favorite books. She went through a very long American Revolution phase and this book figured heavily.

It is gross! I'm a bit of dental wimp so the graphic, albeit cartoon, pictures of 18th century dental techniques were pretty hard to take! The text is a poem though and reads well. Good info at the back about the real story too - since the poem takes a few liberties. Definitely makes one thankful for modern dentistry, however icky it still is...

Bea says this should h
Heather Ligman
I hardly ever give 5 stars. I love this book! It rhymes all the way through. It discusses George Washington's battle with his teeth all of his life. At the end of the book it has a time line of important events and accounts from George Washington about his teeth. This will be a fun book to read as a class. You can use it to discuss timelines. Discuss presidents. Discuss hygiene. This can be used across different subjects. I am excited to use this book!
This was a funny perspective of George Washington's life, framing it through the premature loss of each of his teeth during important events. The illustrations were hilarious, and yet it gave us a new perspective of how much PAIN George Washington was in through this whole life because he had so many recurring dental problems. As a side bonus, it helped my children be more motivated about flossing without a sermon from mom.
Interesting facts about George Washington's dental problems and how his tooth loss coincided with historical events. The ending of the narrative indicates that Pres. Washington was finally cured of his dental problems, but the timeline in the back reveals that our first president was plagued with dental infections and ill-fitting dentures for the rest of his life.
Bouncy, rhyming text paired Brock Cole's cartoony illustations rate high for entertainment! The rhyming text incorporates simple subtraction "...George lost more teeth/Till he had only ten...but when guests came to dine, he sneaked one of his favorite nuts. Then he had only nine Good background info available from the Dental Museum (!)
I had no idea George's teeth were such a problem for him! I can't even imagine having to deal with tooth after tooth falling out and leading the fight against the British at the time! His "teeth's" timeline is provided at the end of the book, along with a picture of his "falsies". Oh, how times have changed and dentures have evolved! Thank goodness!
Tichina Fung-chung
George Washington's Teeth is an interesting book about George Washington and the issues he had with loosing his teeth thoughout his life. This would be a perfect book to share with students on Presidents Day. The book also contains real diary entries from George Washington's journal discussing the problems he had had with his teeth
Sally Staples
This is a book I read to my Kindergarten class around President's Day and/or Washington's Birthday. It is a counting book as well as a rhyming book. Cute story about how our first president, George Washington, had trouble with his teeth. Children can relate because he loses his teeth, and they lose their teeth.
Poor GW's dental problems told in rhyming verse. An historical timeline aligning his greatest milestones with his tooth loss is included. 3rd grade loved it, and had not idea--hadn't even hear the old "wooden teeth" story. You will be they will floss tonight! A fine accompaniment to our presidential study.
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