Invoking the wisdom tooth, this shrine to incisors and molars smartly entertains while teaching history and hygeine.. The Scene Charm City's quirky Smithsonian satellite begins by amusing museum-goers. Viewers learn first of iron-jawed circus performers who use their teeth in logic-defying novelty acts, and of the Dalada Maligawa, a Buddhist temple housing one of the religious founder's holy relics. (A tooth, of course.) Having secured the attention of young and old alike, the multimedia, interactive exhibit then teaches about the invention of fluoridation and the differences among various species' mandibles.
The Collection Andy Warhol's silk-screened prints of dentistry's patron saint Apollonia and an actual set of George Washington's dentures indicate the range of mementos. But what's remarkable about this two-floor presentation isn't the sweep, it's the levity. Televisions stationed throughout broadcast vaudevillian dental routines, vintage commercials and early educational footage--by a young Walt Disney, no less. That's entertainment.