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Happy Birthday, America!

In honor of Independence Day, enjoy some fun historical facts about dentistry in America!

  • In early America, blacksmiths and barbers also served as dentists.

  • John Baker, the first dentist in America, was an English surgeon and dentist that immigrated to Boston in 1760.

  • In addition to his many traits, Paul Revere was a dentist and received his training from John Baker.

  • Paul Revere was also a metalworker that constructed dentures from gold and ivory.

  • In 1776, Paul Revere verifies the death of his friend, Dr. Joseph Warren in the Battle of Breed's Hill, when he identifies the bridge that he constructed for Dr. Warren. (This is the first known case of post-mortem dental forensics.)

  • In early colonial America, dental care was also rendered by artisans such as ivory turners. One such artisan was Isaac Greenwood, who began practicing dentistry in 1779 and is considered to be the first American-born dentist.

  • 4 of Isaac's 6 sons also became dentists. The most prominent, John Greenwood, served as George Washington's dentist.

  • John was responsible for designing Washington's famous dentures from hippopotamus tusk. (President Washington had dentures made from other materials as well.)

  • Dental floss was invented in 1840 by Dr. Levi Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans.

  • The first woman to graduate in the field of dentistry was Lucy B. Hobbs in the fall of 1864 from Cincinnati Dental College. She then opened an office in Iowa!



20 Intriguing Facts About the History of Dental Health: Dental Degree Blog. (2012, March 07). Retrieved June 09, 2016, from

Dental Facts & Myths: Interesting and Crazy Things You May Not Know. (n.d.). Retrieved June 09, 2016, from

dentistry. (2016). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from

Did You Know... - Massachusetts Dental Society. (n.d.). Retrieved June 09, 2016, from

History of Dentistry Timeline. (n.d.). Retrieved June 09, 2016, from

History of dentistry : GoDental. (n.d.). Retrieved June 09, 2016, from

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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