Some Fun Facts About The Beginnings Of Orthodontic Care

orthodontic care

If you’re one of our valued patients, you’re already familiar with orthodontics—at least a little bit familiar! In fact you may have braces on or clear aligners in right now. Or, perhaps your son, daughter, father, or mother is in the middle of treatment right here at our practice. We thought we’d share a couple of facts with you about the history of orthodontic treatment.

Earliest Braces?

It appears that the desire for straight teeth isn’t just a modern-day phenomenon. Archaeologists have unearthed ancient mummies that have crudely constructed bands of metal around their teeth. In the earliest times, catgut was also used instead of wire to close gaps between teeth. In 400 to 500 B.C., the Greek physician Hippocrates and philosopher Aristotle considered methods to improve dental conditions, including teeth straightening.

The Next Phase

What we now think of as “braces” go back as far as 1728—but of course, the technologies and techniques are far more advanced now compared to back then. At that time, French Dentist Pierre Fauchard published his book called “The Surgeon Dentist” which contained a chapter on ways to straighten teeth. Pierre Fauchard was given the designation of having invented the first modern braces by using pieces of thread to connect flat metal strips placed inside people’s mouths.

The Modern Orthodontic Bracket

In 1915, Edward Angle invented what is now called the modern orthodontic bracket. These first brackets were fixed to small bands that went around each tooth. Edward improved on his own invention in about 1928, creating a bracket that could be affixed directly to a tooth.

From those early days and into the 1970’s, many advancements have been made in traditional orthodontic care. Your health and comfort are always a great concern to us, and we are constantly improving the care we provide. Our doctors’ goal is to be continually improving and updating what we do with the latest and best orthodontic options so that our patients are always satisfied with great results and care.

How Braces Work

A lot of people talk about braces and teeth aligners, but not everybody fully understands how braces work. With braces, brackets are placed on your teeth using a bonding cement that allows the braces to stay in place for the duration of your treatment. If these brackets need to be moved for any reason during your treatment, your orthodontist can easily make the necessary adjustments as well. Sometime, when people understand how braces work and they understand that they will have metal brackets on their teeth for a number of months to years, they feel deterred from getting braces. With that came the advent of other forms of teeth aligners, including clear aligners.

Clear Aligner Therapy

The first clear aligner system was invented in 1997 by two students from Stanford University, Kelsey Worth and Zia Chishti. The whole goal of the clear aligner system, which became known as Invisalign, was to allow patients, mainly adults, to receive orthodontic care or treatment in a discreet fashion. These students had relatively negative experiences as adults receiving orthodontic treatment, wishing that they did not have to have a mouth full of metal every time they went out or to work at their ages. They thought that there had to be a better way. They realized that people used plastic trays as retainers to keep their teeth straight after orthodontic treatment, and they thought a little deeper about how this could be incorporated into the orthodontic treatment itself rather than in the post-orthodontic treatment maintenance.

Because of this, Worth and Chisti creatively invented a plastic clear aligner system in which adults, or any patients really, would be able to wear a series of plastic aligners that would allow them to straighten their teeth. Realizing that teeth are continuing to move and shift with these aligners though, it is important to note that patients need to regularly change their plastic trays or aligners to continue straightening their teeth.

With clear aligners, patients take on a lot more responsibility for their treatment. Since these clear aligner appliances are removable, patients need to be aware that they will need to remove their clear aligners to eat as well as to clean them regularly. However, with these clear aligners, patients also need to realize that if they do not keep them in their mouths for the duration that their orthodontist recommends, they may not see their optimal results in a timely fashion. Clear aligners are a great option though for individuals that are opposed to the metal brackets or braces and are willing to put in the time and the effort that it takes to use clear aligners.

Your Orthodontic Treatment

Your orthodontic care is incredibly important to us. We offer a vast array of orthodontic services including both braces and teeth aligners. We will begin by offering you an orthodontic consultation in which we will analyze your specific needs and see how we can best provide you orthodontic care. We will then offer you all of our orthodontic services that fit your unique needs and develop a treatment plan and timeline together. Whether you are interested in traditional braces or clear aligner therapy, we truly work as a team here, and want to work with you to make sure that you leave our office smiling bigger than when you came in.

If you are considering orthodontic care, do not hesitate to contact us today to find out more about the orthodontic services we can offer you. If you are already one of our patients, perhaps you have a family member or friend who is considering orthodontic treatment. Thanks in advance for your kind referrals.