The History of Braces
Nervous about getting braces? Don’t be! Over four million people in the U.S are currently wearing braces, whether they’re for correcting crooked teeth, crowded teeth, or fixing a misaligned bite. Braces, as we know and love them today, have come a long way in terms of their method and appearance. Most people think of Braces as a relatively modern invention to our world, but believe it or not; the history of braces and orthodontics can date as far back as the ancient Egyptians.
Although there is no physical documentation, Archaeologists have found that many Egyptian mummies had crude metal bands or cords, thought to be meant to straighten or close gaps between teeth. The bands were made from a type of animal intestine called “catgut” (not to be confused with actual cats) which was meant to help provide pressure in order to move the teeth.
Even though the ancient Egyptians may have been the first to practice the idea of braces, it was Aulus Cornelius Celsus of Rome whom is credited to be the very first to document his attempt to straighten teeth. How so? By the repeated pressure of his own hands! In fact, he even encouraged parents and caregivers of children to put pressure onto their children’s growing adult teeth daily, in hopes for them to come in straight.
But it wasn’t until 1728 when French Dentist Pierre Fauchard created modern orthodontics. Fauchard crafted a revolutionary device called a “bandeau”—which was meant to expand dental arches through the use of a metallic band. The Bandeau is often considered to be the first, real, orthodontic device.
Fast forward a few hundred years to the 1800’s, when Christophe-Francois Delabarre created the first modern braces for teeth (1819)—using a wire crib that encapsulated each set of two teeth. A few years later in 1843, the evolution of braces continued to push forward, as Dr. Edward Maynard added the concept of elastics to help improve jaw alignment.
Over the years, braces have continued to transform, constantly and rapidly improving, but it wasn’t until 1970, just a few 48 years ago, when braces truly became revolutionized through the use of stainless steel and dental adhesive, which not only lessened the overall wear time of braces, but made them much less painful.
Now, here we are, in 2018. Braces are still constantly being improved and reimagined. In fact, there are now clear braces, such as Invisalign, that are able to accomplish the same exact things as regular braces; without the hassles of routine tightenings, strict diets, and no one will be able to tell! If you’re interested in pursuing braces, call our office today at 770-304-0333 so we can discuss what option would be best for you!
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