You may think, as we once did, that orthodontics is a fairly modern development. While it is true that tremendous advances have been made in technology and methods in recent times, we were intrigued to learn that the search for the perfect smile goes way back — farther than you may imagine.
Back to the Egyptians
Evidence of general dentistry goes back to 13,000-year-old fossil remains that indicate decay may have been drilled out of several teeth with a sharpened stone. Fast forward a few thousand years and we find the first signs of orthodontic dentistry in ancient Egypt. Mummies have been found with metal bands around their teeth. Researchers believe cat gut may have been tied to the bands in an early attempt at using braces to realign teeth. Similar evidence has been found concerning the Etruscans.
The ancient Greeks Hippocrates and Aristotle produced the first written records of tooth irregularities. Later, records from ancient Rome reveal that a scientist named Celsus discovered that teeth could be moved to new positions over time by finger pressure on the teeth. And teeth bound with gold wire have been found in Roman tombs.
During the Renaissance in the 15th century, writings by Leonardo da Vinci and others created a renewed interest in the function of teeth and how to treat them. In the late 1800s, more and more effective tooth-aligning appliances were being invented by the father of modern orthodontics, Edward Hartley Angle.
Orthodontics slowly advanced through the 1970s, when new materials and methods for braces were developed. New adhesives and the use of stainless steel meant the braces could be made smaller and be glued to the surface of the tooth.
In the 1990s, invisible braces and clear retainers entered the picture. Today, space-age material makes traditional braces more effective and quicker-acting, and removable custom tray aligners like ClearCorrect make straightening teeth easier, more convenient, and more comfortable.
As you can see, the perfect smile has been a goal for thousands of years, and that is still our goal today. We offer different types of braces for different needs. Call us to find out more about our orthodontic services or to set up an appointment today.
The Team at The Best Braces