Despite fastidiously brushing his teeth with tooth powder, scraping his tongue of bacteria, and using mouthwash, George Washington lost his first tooth at age 24 and was wearing a full set of dentures by age 57. His morning routine of dental hygiene did not end with the loss of his teeth, as his five sets of dentures required constant maintenance and attention. Washington likely used this compact toilet set complete with a tooth brush, tooth-powder box, and tongue scraper while traveling during his presidency and subsequent retirement.


A: Tooth brush with a silver handle that slightly flares at each end. The oblong head is delineated by raised walls that cradle an oblong ivory base. The ivory base has drilled holes that are filled with bundles of bristles that are secured to the underside of the ivory base with a thin continuous wire.
B:Tongue scraper made from a flat piece of silver that flares slightly at each end.
C: Rectangular tooth-powder box made from silver. The interior is split into two compartments by a partition that is topped with a toothed hinge that moves two articulated lids. The exterior of the proper right side wall has a small finial to facilitate its insertion or removal from the case.
D: Two part rectangular case of red leather. The lid and the base case are virtually identical in shape and in their decorative treatment. The edges of the case are beveled to relieve the corners from wear; both the front and the back face is tooled with double lines that run their entire length, a single line outlines their mouths. The base fits into the lid by an extended sleeve of red leather.


c. 1795



A: Silver, ivory, animal hair B: Silver C: Silver D: Leather, paper


Overall (A): 4 13/16 in. x 3/8 in. x 5/8 in. (12.29 cm x 0.97 cm x 1.6 cm)
Overall (B): 4 13/16 in. x 1/16 in. (12.22 cm x 0.13 cm)
Overall (C): 4 13/16 in. x 7/16 in. x 1/4 in. (12.22 cm x 1.12 cm x 0.64 cm)
Overall (D, case): 3 1/2 in. x 3/4 in. x 3/8 in. (8.89 cm x 1.91 cm x 0.97 cm)
Other (D, lid): 2 3/8 in. x 3/4 in. x 7/16 in. (6.05 cm x 1.91 cm x 1.12 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Charles Angelo Conrad, 1894

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
Buy Tickets What to Do Calendar Shop Restaurant Support Membership
Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save