7 Discover and Support the Kentucky Dental Association By: Jordan Kelch, Public Relations The roots of oral hygiene might surprise you. While modern times have ushered in the advancement and perfection of cleaning and preserving teeth, basic dental practices have occurred since the beginning of human existence. In fact, gold filings were regularly discovered in the teeth of many Egyptian mummies. Even the poorest of Medieval times rinsed their mouths with mint and vinegar while rubbing their teeth clean with cloths. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, powdered sage was used to whiten teeth and a vinegar/wine solution was utilized as a makeshift mouthwash. The Renaissance saw the first pair of dentures, with porcelain teeth not far behind. North America has its own narrative of dental care. Who doesn’t think of the Wild West, with an agonized man, a pair of metal pliers and a bottle of whiskey? Kentucky, though, boasts a unique oral history. In fact, a School of Dental Surgery was founded at Transylvania University in 1849. In the years that followed, the dentists of the Commonwealth band together to form a group that could operate as the voice of oral health for a community. Today, this agency is known as the Kentucky Dental Association. Like any long-tenured organization, the KDA cycled through many names in its early years. In fact, it was first known as the Reciprocity Club or Dental Protective Association, founded in 1891 right here in Louisville. Within five years, growth initiated the first name change, ushering in the Falls Cities Dental Society, only to be renamed again in 1900 as the Jefferson County Dental Society. The Kentucky Dental Association serves a number of purposes in the Commonwealth. Not only are they the premiere dental advocates in the Bluegrass State, they work to set an example of excellence, guiding the way for members of the profession. At the heart of it, of course, is the intent to champion oral health while offering services to the community. Whether you need assistance finding a dentist, or more information regarding a specific dental issue you are facing, the KDA supplies a wealth of knowledge and exists to assist all Kentuckians in bettering their oral health. Take a moment to check out their website at www.kyda.org; scroll through the many resources they offer and get a better idea of how they can work for you. For those Kentuckians who would like to support the KDA, consider purchasing “A Lifetime of Oral Health” license plate. Available at your local county clerk’s office, the initial cost is $44.00 with an annual renewal fee of $31.00. Any owner of a noncommercial motor vehicle is eligible to purchase. $10.00 of the initial fee and $5.00 of the renewal goes to the Kentucky Dental Association. This plate is available for personalization with an additional $25.00 fee annually; personalization is limited to a maximum of 5 characters. Sources: https://secure.kentucky.gov/kytc/plates/web/ LicensePlate/Index/db28977e-69df-4002-bd16- aed408ae36a2#plateAnchor https://www.kyda.org/about-kda.html http://www.ancient-origins.net/human-origins- science/jewel-capped-teeth-golden-bridges- 9000-years-dentistry-001427 http://www.historyundressed.com/2008/07/ history-of-hygiene-bathing-teeth.html