Many people have had braces, or some type of orthodontic treatment, at one point in their lives. But very few know even a single fact about the (surprisingly fascinating) history of orthodontia. Luckily, the team at Pavlik are experts in all things orthodontics and we have taken it upon ourselves to compile the following list of interesting facts about the history of our profession. You’ll be shocked at all the tooth-related things you never knew!
- The search for a straighter smile can be traced back to ancient Egypt.
Crooked teeth are nothing new (archaeologists have found signs of them in human remains dating back 50,000 years!) and neither is the desire to fix them. Egyptian mummies have been discovered with cords made from animal intestines wrapped around their teeth, much like modern braces wiring.
- Braces have been around for almost 300 years.
Known as the Father of Modern Dentistry, Pierre Fauchard designed the first set of what we know today as braces in 1728.
- NASA is responsible for creating the metal wires used in modern braces.
The wiring used for braces contains nickel titanium, an alloy originally developed by NASA in the 1950’s for use in the space program.
- The first classic book about dentistry was written in 1840.
Chapin A. Harris, an American dentist and journalist, published his first book, “The Dental Art,” in 1840. The book describes practices such as soldering knobs on bands to assist with tooth rotation, and applying gold caps to molars to open the dental bite.
- Braces used to consist of a whole lot more metal.
Prior to the 1970s when dental adhesives were created, orthodontists had to anchor brackets to teeth by winding wires tightly around each individual tooth (ouch!).
If you’re interested in learning more about orthodontics, or if you’d like to get a free consultation, you can contact Pavlik Orthodontics at (352) 376-5055.