The Smile Capital of the United States

  • Posted on: Sep 13 2013
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Do you know where the smile capital of the US is? You can guess thousands of times and not come up with the correct answer. Pocatello, Idaho. Pocatello is located in Southeast Idaho. It has a population around 55,000 and is the 4th largest city in Idaho. It is the home of Idaho State University. Pocatello was founded in 1889 and was named after a Shoshone Indian chief who granted the railroad a right-a-way through the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. The area around Pocatello started as a supply post for those traveling along the Oregon Trail. The area experienced explosive growth in 1860 with the start of the gold rush and when the Union Pacific Railroad expanded its service, Pocatello became an important transportation hub for Idaho’s mineral resources.

This is all very interesting, but why, you ask, is Pocatello, Idaho the smile capital of the US? The winter of 1948 was particularly harsh in Pocatello. In an effort to cheer up the citizenry, then Mayor George Phillips passed an ordinance making it illegal not to smile in Pocatello. The ordinance stayed, unnoticed, on the books until it was rediscovered by a reporter in 1987 and used by the American Bankers Association to lobby congress to modernize banking laws. (A lot of good that did us!) In December 1987 members of the American Bankers Association visited Pocatello, and declared it the Smile Capital of the US.

Pocatello has embraced its “fame”. Every December Pocatello holds a Smile Festival, with elementary school poster contests, a smile contest, and “arrests” for those who do not smile. Are you embarrassed by your smile? Do you hide your smile because of imperfect teeth? Are you in danger of being arrested in Pocatello for not smiling? Contact Smile Texas today for a free consultation.

Posted in: Cosmetic Dentistry Journal

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