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George Washington's Teeth

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  462 Ratings  ·  84 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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Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
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
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: info-bios
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
Heather Dunbar
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jennifer Daniel
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Carol Evans
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kate Hastings
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Scott Volz
Feb 29, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
I had no idea that it was this rough for the Father of our Country--no wonder he looks so very grumpy in his portraits! I would look grumpy too if I was eating tripe and losing my teeth left and right and worried that the enemy would discover this little fact and mock me for it! Poor George. Tough George to go through all this and still kick British bum.
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We are headed to Washington DC and I wanted to read a few historical picture books with my kids, 4 and 7. This is the perfect book. Amusing and relatable story about how Washington lost all his teeth during key periods of our nation's history. And it's all sourced in historical documents, with a big timeline at the back!
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book tells the story of George Washington's life from the time he lost his teeth. My kids thought it was funny and didn't realize I was sneaking in a history lesson!

11 other patriotic picture books:
Erin Pierce
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun read.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I read it to my 5th graders every year. It's just fascinating!
Aug 09, 2016 added it
Title: George Washington’s Teeth
Author: Deborah Chandra & Madeleine Comora
Illustrator: Brock Cole
Genre: Biography (K-2)
Theme(s): history, teeth, George Washington
Opening line/sentence:
“All of his life George Washington had problems with his teeth and worked hard to save them.”
Brief Book Summary:
George Washington struggled with his teeth all his life. In this book we learned about he dealt with his toothaches, and about some of the myths about George Washington’s teeth (he never had woode
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
1. No award
2. Preschool - Grade 3
3. George Washington plans to go to war being victorious but also has something important at hand as well, his rotten teeth! From the very beginning to the very end of war, George loses his teeth one by one in embarassment. Despite his teeth problem, he continued on making a difference to his nation and soon found a solution to his teeth situation.
4. I enjoyed reading this historical and true life story of George Washington's journey and his mysterious teeth case
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“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
Kandice Buck
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This book is about the history of the President George Washington and his teeth. The book is about all the problems he had to face as the president including his aching teeth! While discussing the history of George Washington, the reader also learns that George Washington only had two teeth when he was first elected president. That is why in his pictures he smiles using only his lips. He had to stuff cotton balls in his cheeks to make his smile look more full while posing for one of his portrait ...more
Rebecca Sherod
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-bios, poetry
George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra is a funny story that also relates true facts about our first president George Washington. This book tells the story of the battles that George Washington had not only against the British but also with his teeth. Every page displays graphic pictures of George Washington surviving the perilous attacks and fights with the British and with the dentist! The book ends with an enlightening timeline of George Washington’s difficulties with his denture and ho ...more
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
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
Bailey New
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
In this easy read social studies book, George Washington started off with a mouth full of teeth, but by the end, he was left with none. As he scrambles around all of his teeth to make some dentures, he is left with the thought of them not fitting and he being left with none. This book would be appropriate for grades K-2, there are some bigger words that could have younger readers stumble if they are reading on their own, but the content is appropriate for the age group. This book could be connec ...more
May 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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
Kelsea Breedlove
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
George Washington's Teeth is a story that follows a map illustrated by his missing teeth to show real historical events that took place. This well illustrated, engaging story is useful to help students follow the life of the fist president. In the classroom one could have students map out Washington's life and illustrate it based off of the different milestones that he reached. This story would be a great introduction to the learning of the presidents.
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
We read the book as a class and this is what we think. The book was funny because George Washington tried to make false teeth. We liked the pictures because it showed how he went all over the house and village to find his real teeth. We also thought it was funny that he kept losing his teeth! We loved that it was a rhyming book. There was nothing that we didn't like about the book. Kids should read this book because it's easy and fun to read.
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!
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