The Unique Health And Hygiene Habits Of U.S. Presidents

Being the president of the United States is one of the world’s most challenging jobs. Since it’s so demanding, many presidents over the years have overlooked their health and hygiene. Some have adopted some strange self-care habits, even for the time period that they lived in.

Some presidents took foot baths in cold water, while others swam in a river every morning. Others had less healthy habits, drinking around ten gallons of whiskey every week. Here are the unique diet, exercise, and hygiene habits of the American presidents.

George Washington Did Not Have Wooden Teeth

A painting of George Washington  portrays him with a closed mouth.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

An often-repeated history myth says that George Washington had wooden teeth, so he never smiled in paintings. But he had all of his teeth, and he worked at keeping them healthy. Although dental care was lacking in the 18th century, Washington paid for all of the oral hygiene items available. Teeth scrapers, toothbrushes, and cleaning solutions appeared in his receipts.

Many of Washington’s relatives died young, so he took great care of his body to live longer. Even as a military general, he frequently changed his clothes (uncommon during that time) and bathed. He lived until age 67.