President Hoover went to the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Washington for dental treatment, and it was found necessary to extract three or four of his teeth. An orderly who was in attendance had the bright idea that there were people who would be willing to pay good money for a President’s teeth, so he gathered them up as soon as Mr. Hoover had left. He not only possessed himself of the Hoover teeth, he also collected all the teeth that had been extracted that day from the jaws of many sufferers by the hospital dentists. The exact number of his collection is not stated, but it was considerable and he had no difficulty in disposing of them all as genuine Hoover teeth at 50 cents. This price he found afterwards was absurdly low, for within a day or two he discovered that they were being sold in the city at several dollars each. Then somebody discovered that there were more teeth on offer than the Hoover household could have supplied, even if every member had visited the dentist and had every tooth extracted. Quotations in the Presidential old teeth market immediately dropped to zero.
Source: Kalgoorlie Miner, Tues 15 September, 1931
The latest idea in economy stands to the credit of a thrifty American woman who lived near Janesville, and was wearing her dead husband’s false teeth. When he died she had his fine set of false teeth removed before he was placed in the coffin. Then she called upon the old dentist, informing him that she desired to have them remade to fit her, and the request was granted. When she left the dentist, she said that she hoped that the teeth would make her feel 30 years younger, as she intended to marry again shortly.
Source: Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Sat 27 July 1907
An English bulldog sitting in a car on Washington Street, Indianapolis, attracted considerable attention with a generous display of gold teeth!
By reason of the open face construction peculiar to this breed of dog, the gold fang was especially prominent and fairly glistened in the sunlight. There was other wealth in the dog’s mouth besides this, for she had four back teeth of the valuable metal. Despite these adornments, the dog of aristrocratic breeding, was not at all proud, but looked about in a casual way, as though mildly interested n the persons who were keenly interested in her.
A Newcastle mother was quizzical as to what had happened to her false teeth, which she had left on her dressing table to take a bath. Eventually, it came to light that her small son took them to the local pawn shop and sold them for a profit!
Source: The Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser, Tuesday 12 November 1929
A thief in Greenville, Ohio, pulled four upper teeth from a businessman using ordinary pliers to entice him into divulging the location of his hidden money!
Source: The Argus, Thursday 18 November 1948
During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese were required by the authorities to register their fillings. Those with gold filled teeth could then be called upon to “contribute” them to the national fund for prosecution of the war in China.
Source: Barrier Miner, Thursday 23 March 1939
The single most anxiety provoking factor for Australians who visit the dentist is the cost of treatment!
Source: The extent and nature of dental fear and phobia in Australia.
Aust Dent J. 2010 Dec;55(4):368-77.
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