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The Korean Association of Orthodontists (KAO) was established on May 28, 1959. The inaugural meeting was held by 10 founder members at the Severance Hospital and elected Dr. Gwi-Sun Kim the President and Dr. Han-Soo Lee the Secretary General. KAO was the first branch academy of dentistry in Korea. This reflected that Orthodontics had a higher demand and need for a specialty field in dentistry. Thereafter, seven other branch academies of dentistry were founded. October 30~31, 1959, the semi-annual scientific congress of Korean Dental Association took place at the School of Dentistry in Seoul National University. The Korean Dental Association amended the constitution at the 11th General Assembly on October 11, 1962 and set the policy that the newly founded branch academy should be recommended by the Committee of Scientific Affairs and approved by the Board of Trustees. On January 28, 1974, the final version of approval policy was passed and is still in effect today.

The meaning in the logo of the KAO is as follows; the broken lines symbolize open-mouth and teeth. The thin curved line in the transverse direction crosses and divides the circle like taegeuk mark in the Korean national flag, and implies the organization belongs to Korea. The thick curved line in the longitudinal direction is shaped like a snake, the symbol of medicine, and the arch wire, which is important in the orthodontic treatment.

The KAO developed a character to convey friendliness about orthodontic treatment to the patients and general public. We carried out the survey for the preference among four kinds of animals to 1,500 people in the general public. As a result, “Barumi and Gowmi” were selected as the favorite characters.
Barumi is a masculine character of KAO and named from Korean pronunciation of straight teeth.
Gowmi is a feminine character of KAO and named from Korean pronunciation of beautiful teeth.

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