"I've always wanted to be in a profession where I could help people," Cash told The Brazil Times recently. "That's why I became a dentist. I wanted to be able to help ease people's pain."
Proud of his local roots, Cash grew up in the Harmony area. He is a graduate from Van Buren High School (1970), Indiana State University (1974) and the Indiana University School of Dentistry (1978).
Although he briefly worked with another local dentist, Cash opened his private dental office, at 924 S. Forest Ave., in 1978.
Providing local residents with the newest technological advances of dentistry has been a goal of Cash's since the beginning of his dental practice.
"I wanted to provide all the available aspects of dentistry to my patients so they don't have to leave the area and travel elsewhere for dental care," Cash said. "It's a constant process to keep up on the educational aspect of dentistry, but it's important for my patients."
Helping children smile is important to Cash, who participates in the national "Give Kids A Smile" program in local schools. The program locates needy children whose families cannot afford dental care.
"We bring them in and take care of their dental needs," he said. "It is a rewarding experience to help a young patient obtain that beautiful smile. Several patients have gone on to win beauty pageants, several of my young patients have become seniors in high school and been voted by their classmates to have the best smile."
Cash, who also serves on the Clay County Board of Health, enjoys helping his adult patients achieve and maintain a lifetime of smiles.
"With today's modern dentistry, people can keep their teeth for a lifetime. It is possible," Cash said. "I have patients that I've seen every six months during the past 30 years, and they are decay free today."
After 30 years, Cash is seeing the children and, sometimes, the grandchildren of life-long patients. It is a connection to his community that he treasures.
"Being in a small town allows me to have a personal relationship with my patients that most doctors don't have with their patients," Cash said.
His wife, co-worker and office manager for 30 years, Roberta, agrees.
"Our patients tend to share their lives with us, their personal stories. We know them," Roberta said. "It's an indication how comfortable our patients are with us, the trust we have. That has always been very important to us."
While some people find it unusual that a married couple spends all day, every day together, John and Roberta believe their personalities mesh together well.
"She likes to do the bookwork, which allows me to devote more attention to my patients," John said.
"I know there are people who couldn't stand being with their spouse 24-hours-a-day, but we've found out that our relationship works," Roberta said. "Sure we talk about work at home, it's hard not to. But, when we leave the office, we are all about our daughter, our family."
With a beaming smile, John said the couple's daughter, Kayla Cash, a sophomore at Franklin College, is studying to be an attorney. The fourth member of the Cash family is Cuddles, a loveable Bichon Frise.
"Cuddles is a small, fluffy, puffball of a dog," Roberta said.
The family enjoys traveling, especially the white sandy beaches and fresh seafood of Florida, but they are definitely rooted in Clay County.
"I'm a small town boy," John said. "We like the lifestyle here in Clay County. We enjoy all the festivals in the area. This is a great community and we like the people in it."
Note:With 30 years of experience in dentistry, Dr. John J. Cash gave The Brazil Times a tip for good oral hygiene.
"People should brush and floss their teeth twice a day. Once in the morning after breakfast and then again before bedtime," Cash said. "Although both are necessary, bedtime is the most important. That way there is nothing on the teeth to promote decay during the night."