Fun Facts About Dental History

Did you know a New Jersey dentist named William Lowell was credited with inventing a piece of equipment that changed the way golf was played? That’s right – Dr. Lowell actually whittled the first wooden golf tee using his dentistry tools!

It’s time to test your knowledge of dental history! How many of the facts below do you actually know?

Did you know…
Paul Revere, a symbol of the American Revolution – known for his famed midnight ride, was also a skilled maker of dentures! That’s right, Revere was actually a silversmith by trade and was able to use his craftsman skills to wire dentures made of animal teeth to his patients’ mouths!  

The city of Burbank located in California was actually named after a New England Dentist – David Burbank (1823-1895). After joining others in the great migration west in the 1850’s, he amassed a huge landholding and became one of the largest and most successful sheep raisers in southern California! He was so successful, he soon stopped practicing dentistry to invest in real estate. After selling his property for a hefty profit, it was subdivided into small farms and residential lots and thus in 1887 the town of Burbank was born.

A Connecticut dentist, Dr. Washington Wentworth Sheffield, revolutionized the marketing and retailing of toothpaste by developing the collapsible metal tube. Prior to this, paste was often sold in glass or ceramic pots that the toothbrush would need to dip into. Looking for a more hygienic and convenient way to package his own toothpaste, he discovered artist paint tubes while vacationing in Europe. The Sheffield’s Creme Dentrifrice packaging was such a hit that we even use a similar tube today!

Lucy Hobbs Taylor was the first American woman to receive a dental degree! After being denied admission to dental school, she opened her own practice in Iowa. Her practice was so profitable in the first three years that she earned herself an excellent reputation and the Ohio College of Dental Surgery admitted her as a student. Recognizing the success of her practice, Taylor was only required to complete one session before graduating with her degree. 

Contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s dentures were NOT made of wood – rather lead and ivory. In fact, Washington actually had several dentures throughout his lifetime, ranging from materials of gold to steel to animal teeth! 

For even more fun facts about dental history, check out this document from!

If you have any questions about how to improve your child’s oral health, please give our offices a call. We specialize in caring for children’s teeth in a comfortable and caring environment. Visit our website to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations.