We have come a long way with our orthodontic procedures! Now, more than half of American teenagers wear braces, but in years past very different methods were used. Keep reading to see the evolution of braces throughout history.
Even ancient civilizations believed that a beautiful aligned smile was important! Ancient Greeks would align their teeth with gold wires – a very luxurious way of getting a perfect smile! This shows that only the elite had the means to straighten their teeth. Even stranger, some Egyptian mummies were found with catgut bands. These were made out of animal intestines wrapped around their teeth. Imagine that in your mouth – sign me up for the gold wires!
In 1728 a French man named Pierre Fauchard invented a device called the “Bandeau”, a metal object shaped like a horseshoe that attached to gold wires and corrected tooth alignment. This bulky metal “Bandeau” would have been a lot less fun to wear than the trendy bandeau tops people wear today!
In the early 1900’s, people aligned their teeth using all kinds of materials: gold, silver, copper, ivory and even wood. Gold worked great because it was soft and easy to mold but its softness was also a downside. This material could get bent out of place and had to be adjusted frequently.
By the 1970s, modern braces were taking hold. Professionals ditched the bulky wires and headgear for gluing stainless-steel brackets to teeth using dental adhesive. The subtlety of these braces was taken a step further with lingual braces. This is when the brackets are placed on the backs of teeth instead of the front. Braces have even evolved to include tooth-colored brackets that disguise the look of braces.
Modern Braces and Clear Braces:
In the 1990’s and 2000’s clear braces, such as Invisalign, took orthodontic care to a whole new level! These clear braces are an invisible and removable option for teeth alignment. You can eat all the foods you wouldn’t be able to with traditional wired braces. You simply pop out your clear retainer then put it back in after you eat!
We have come a long way from using animal parts, wouldn’t you say! Opting for the removable clear option is not only more beneficial for your oral hygiene but it is also more aesthetically pleasing. Let your smile shine through and not get hidden behind outdated brackets. Call us today to schedule your appointment for clear braces!