1959 4¢ Dental Health
Issue Date: September 14, 1959
City: New York, New York
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
U.S. #1135 was issued on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Dental Association. The group was founded in 1859 to promote oral health care and the science of dentistry.
The American Dental Association
Prior to the founding of the ADA, there was another dental organization in the US – the American Dental Convention (ADC). Over time some members of the ADC grew unhappy with how the organization was run and sought to establish a better, more organized group.
The first meeting of the ADA was held on August 3, 1859, while at the fifth annual conference of the ADC. The 26 dental professionals present wanted their new organization to be based on their ideals for the dental field, including establishing scientific standards and a group of delegates for representation.
At that first meeting, the members agreed to form a new national organization, selected a chairman and secretary, established a committee to create a constitution, and selected a date and location for their second meeting the following year. In the months to come, the 26 members encouraged state and local dental societies and schools to send representatives to the following year’s meeting of the ADA.
The ADA met for the second time in 1860. At that meeting they elected a president and adopted their first constitution and bylaws. The meeting the following year was canceled due to the outbreak of the Civil War. Meetings resumed in 1866, when they adopted their first Code of Ethics.
In 1908, the ADA published its first dental education pamphlet. This pamphlet shared tips for good oral hygiene, recommended brushing twice a day and visiting the dentist twice a year. And in 1931, the ADA created its Seal of Acceptance. The seal was created to protect people from unsafe products. For decades, companies had offered dangerous products advertised as dental remedies. This included tooth powders for gum disease that contained sulfuric acid. The ADA seal ensures the safety of toothpastes, brushes, and other dental products.
In 1949, the ADA sponsored the first National Children’s Dental Health Day (February 6). This was expanded to a week in 1955 and a month in 1981.
Today the ADA has more than 161,000 members and is the largest and oldest national dental association in the world. The ADA is based in Chicago, and each month produces the Journal of American Dental Association, which includes articles about dental issues.