Birthplace of the American Board of Orthodontics – Estes Park, Colorado - Atlas Obscura
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Estes Park, Colorado

Birthplace of the American Board of Orthodontics

The start of the group that straightened the teeth of a nation. 

The Stanley Hotel is known for many things that are not orthodontry.

The grand hotel is often known for being built by F. O. Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer, or for inspiring Stephen King to write The Shining, or for featuring a Steinway piano regularly played by John Philip Sousa and Gary Burghoff (of M*A*S*H fame), or being the film set for Dumb and Dumber. But impressive as all these claims to fame may be, the hotel perhaps should be best known as the location where the American Board of Orthodontics was created.

During July 16-19, 1929, at the 28th annual meeting of the American Society of Orthodontists (which certainly doubled as an excuse to spend a few days at a high-end luxury hotel in the mountains of Colorado), a group of seven orthodontists established the official American Board of Orthodontics, the first specialty board in dentistry in the U.S. The moment is memorialized by a plaque at the famous hotel, and of course, by the straight-toothed smiles of thousands of Americans since.

Know Before You Go

The plaque is located in the lower side entry of the hotel. Follow the signs outside the hotel for the cafe and tour bookings. Enter here and you will find the plaque on the wall, along with many other photos and historical items.

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