The old story that George Washington wore wooden false teeth is "simply a myth," but what he really had inside his mouth is even stranger, a UCLA dentist reports. At various times during his two terms as president, Washington wore dentures made of such things as lead, cow's teeth, carved ivory and walrus tusk and hippopotamus and human teeth, according to Dr. Reidar Sognnaes, founding dean of the UCLA dental school. It is commonly believed that ill-fitted wooden teeth were the reason Washington never smiled for his portraits and caused the pouting appearance seen on the dollar bill. But, says Sognnaes, who has made a study of the subject and examined six surviving sets of Washington's dentures, "There is absolutely no scientific evidence for the widespread impression that Washington ever wore wooden teeth." The Chinese 100 years earlier had used wooden teeth, but by Washington's time wood had been replaced by other materials, notably ivory. Sognnaes says the pout probably was caused by the fact that denture adhesive had not been invented. False teeth were held in place by two springs which pushed them up and forward. "I suppose that when he talked he almost always had to talk with his mouth close or they would come out," Sognnaes says. When Washington became president he had but one tooth left, probably because of gum disease. A hole cut through the ivory base of his dentures let that one poke through. The rest were a mixture of carved ivory and some human teeth, including one taken from his own mouth, Sognnaes says.