With the new year around the corner, why not consider taking the next step to create a more beautiful smile? Orthodontics was initially a treatment that folks considered to be limited to children and teens, but today it is increasingly popular with adults. No matter what your age, orthodontic treatments can transform your smile by straightening your teeth and aligning your bite!

According to The American Association of Orthodontists, braces weren’t always the modern marvels they are today. In fact, they originally used crude devices to straighten crooked teeth, close gaps and correct bite problems.

Then: A Blast From the Past

  • When the ancient Greeks used braces, they used gold wires. And it wasn’t just the Greeks; ancient Romans also laid to rest their dead with crude dental appliances.
  • Egyptian mummies reveal that back in the day they straightened crooked teeth with bands made of catgut (you guessed it, animal intestines!).
  • In the 18th Century, thanks to a resourceful Frenchman, Pierre Fauchard, a “bandeau” was created to straighten teeth, made of metal attached to gold wires and shaped like a horseshoe.
  • The early 1900s found dentists using a variety of materials to straighten their pearly whites; platinum, gold, silver, copper, steel, brass, rubber, ivory and wood. You also saw the development of bands, wires, loops, clasps, spurs, ligatures and hooks to fix the teeth.
  • In the 1970s, you started seeing modern braces taking hold of the orthodontic industry. No more bulky wires and headgear! Instead, a dental adhesive was used to directly bond or glue brackets made of stainless steel to the teeth. This period in history also saw the usage of lingual braces where the hardware was attached to the back of the teeth instead of prominently in front as had been the custom. Also, tooth-colored brackets were being used now.

Today: Modern Advances in Orthodontics and Bite Correction

  • The 1990s in the U.S. found dentists focusing on bite corrections and developing malocclusion classification systems.
  • The early 2000s, dentists used a discrete form of orthodontics called clear aligners. Not only were these “braces” virtually invisible, but they were removable, too. This meant you could eat and drink all your favorite foods, and you could brush and floss your teeth without maneuvering around orthodontic hardware. No more wires or food particles getting stuck in brackets!

Today’s Invisible Braces

  • When it comes to orthodontics for today’s patients, orthodontic systems that use clear plastic aligners to straighten teeth have become a treatment of choice, and with good reason.
  • Other discreet options include ceramic braces, which use tooth-colored brackets that blend in more naturally into your smile.
  • Archwires have also evolved from using stainless steel to nickel- or copper-titanium versions. These are temperature-sensitive, so they shift the teeth using your natural body heat.
  • Lingual braces work their teeth straightening magic while worn on the back instead of the front of your teeth.

We don’t know about you but seeing how orthodontic treatment has evolved over the centuries has helped us appreciate the modern options available today! If you are ready to tackle your teeth and bite issues, we welcome you to reach out to our skilled and experienced team to schedule a complimentary consultation.

With the various orthodontic treatment options available to you, you no longer have to be embarrassed about your smile. Let us help you start out the New Year by creating a straighter, more beautiful smile!

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