Dental museum puts 'toothy toys' on display

2010 09 28 14 55 45 956 2010 09 28 Toothytoys

A new exhibit opening next month at the National Museum of Dentistry takes a fun look at the way toys with a dental theme have helped teach kids how to care for their teeth.

The "Open Wide! Toothy Toys That Made Us Smile" exhibit will be on view at the museum November 6, 2010, through January 30, 2011. From Play-Doh's Dr. Drill 'n Fill to an Evel Kneivel battery-operated toothbrush complete with launching ramp, the exhibit will feature more than 50 objects, ranging from the original wind-up Yakity Yak chatter teeth created in 1949 to Cabbage Patch dolls with teeth from the 1980s.

The exhibit also features vintage toy commercials, comic books, a playable Tooth Invaders video game from 1981, and a hands-on game corner where visitors can try their hand at classic dental-themed games, such as Crocodile Dentist, Mr. Mouth, and Hungry Hippos.

2010 09 28 14 55 45 956 2010 09 28 Toothytoys
Some of the toys that will be featured in the "Open Wide! Toothy Toys That Made Us Smile" exhibit. Image courtesy of the National Museum of Dentistry.

"Many of these tooth-related toys are rare windows into our past, while others are still being played with by kids (and adults) today," said Jonathan Landers, executive director of the museum, in a press release. "They all show the creative ways we've encouraged children to care for their teeth over the years."

This special exhibit is drawn from the National Museum of Dentistry's 40,000-object collection of dental treasures and the toy collection of guest curator Elaine Miginsky, D.D.S.

Copyright © 2010

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