The History of Orthodontics

A Quick History of Orthodontics

At Lynn Dental Care, we offer professional orthodontics and related treatments for misaligned teeth. As an Invisalign dentist, we know how self-conscious some people can be when it comes to orthodontics and wearing braces or a retainer.

But with new innovations, braces are now lower-profile and more subtle than ever, while still being effective in reshaping your teeth. This is far removed from the old perception of braces being a cumbersome eyesore – but just how far has orthodontics come? Your Dallas dentist takes a look at the history of the practice, how primitive it used to be and just how much better it is now.

Ancient Egypt

While you might associate ancient Egypt with pyramids and ornately decorated temples and cities, some archeologists have actually found mummies from the same period with metal bands around their teeth that appear to be early and cruder versions of the braces we’re more familiar with.

Greeks and Romans

It wasn’t just the Egyptians that made some attempts at orthodontics in the old world. The Greeks and Romans also used gold bands to preserve the position of teeth after death – although we tend to start a little earlier these days.The first known description of oral irregularities and misaligned teeth came from Hippocrates in 400BC. In time, some more unusual methods came with the Roman writer Celsus suggestion aligning teeth by pushing them as they grew, and later on, it was believed that filing them down to size might help.

Modern Dentistry and Orthodontic Innovation

In the 1800s,  Pierre Fauchard, who many people consider the “Father of Dentistry”, created his own solution for teeth that were growing in crowded or misaligned – a horseshoe-shaped piece of metal that was fitted with holes for teeth, which he called a “bandeau”. Although various other attempts at straightening teeth would continue to be made, this decidedly uncomfortable-sounding solution was the closest to the modern brace until the later 1800s.

Edward Hartley Angle and Modern Orthodontics

Edward Angle was a leader in dental and oral treatments in the late 1800s and was the first to definitively map out ideas such as malocclusion and misalignment, before starting to work on specific inventions and ideas to tackle them. These ideas took hold and began to dominate the field – with orthodontists following Angle’s lead well into the 1900s. Dental adhesives would come along in the 1970s, making the fitting and fastening of braces much more secure, along with stainless steel making them cheaper.

Invisalign and Into the Future

As the technology and ideas in braces, retainers and tooth alignment all improved, new thinking on how to make braces more subtle while making sure they still worked became fertile ground for invention. In the late 1990s, Invisalign braces were created to provide the same realignment as traditional braces while looking practically invisible.

Orthodontics at Lynn Dental Care

If you’re looking for orthodontics specialists and solutions for misaligned teeth, get in touch with Lynn Dental Care today. We can provide you with the best results with low-profile, effective and versatile braces. If you’re looking for other types of cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry or oral surgery, take a look at what we can offer you.