The Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, which opened in 1996, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution that is operated by the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. The museum’s extensive and fascinating collection includes thousands of items such as drills, extractors, antique mouthwash bottles, toothpaste tubes and antique dental chairs.
Children can dress up in a lab coat, sit in a real dental chair and use a giant toothbrush on an extra-large set of dentures. Visitors can even see a lower denture, worn by George Washington, which was crafted from hippopotamus ivory.
“The National Museum of Dentistry is one of the jewels of Baltimore,” said Dr. Richard Manski, DDS, the museum’s executive director. “We want to engage proactively with the community to bring children into the museum with the goal of encouraging them to think about dentistry as a potential career.”