History of Orthodontics
While you may think that orthodontics is fairly new science, in reality, it is thousands of years old. Orthodontics goes back to the Pharaohs and the pyramids. Senestraro Family Orthodontics has information for you about the history of orthodontics and how much orthodontics has improved from Ancient Egypt until present day.
When Did Orthodontics Start?
Historians and archaeologists have noticed that humans have had crooked teeth for at least 50,000 years. Most likely, there have always been humans with crooked teeth. Archeologists also have found that Ancient Egyptians were working to correct teeth. Believe it or not, braces were used by the Ancient Egyptians as a way to correct teeth. Researchers believe that the Egyptians were trying to correct teeth that are not aligned well or teeth that were poorly spaced. Thousands of years ago, the Ancient Egyptians used metal bands around the teeth. The bands were tied to teeth with catgut. The catgut ties provided enough pressure that teeth moved.
Ancient Egyptians were not the only people to try and correct teeth with orthodontics. The Ancient Greeks, Romans and Etruscans also tried to correct bites and teeth. The Etruscans used gold bands to correct bite problems and crooked teeth. The band was left in place when the woman died to preserve their bites. Greek scholars, such as Hippocrates, wrote about tooth problems as early as 400 B.C. Both Pliny the Elder and Celsus advised fixing teeth over 2000 years ago.
The Colonial Period
Although orthodontics were written about in ancient history, the colonial period is when orthodonture began to be something that was studied. People began using wax impressions to model teeth in the 1600s. The father of dentistry, Pierre Fauchard, made a bandeau out of metal to correct teeth that had been misaligned. Fauchard also moved teeth very quickly and tied them to other teeth to keep them in place. Other dentists separated overcrowded teeth by inserting wedges or threads in between teeth to separate them.
The 19th and 20th Centuries
Orthodontics began to enter the modern period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Books began to be written about orthodontic care. People figured out how to assist with the proper rotation of teeth. Also, dentists used to place gold caps in place on molars to correct bites. Dentists also began to use rubber to correct tooth spacing and dental bites.
The father of modern orthodontics, Edward Angle, identified the causes of bite issues and began to move towards correcting improper bites at the turn of the 20th century. During the 20th century, orthodontists had to place brackets on each tooth through winding wires to hold the brackets in place. However, in the 1970s, dental adhesives were invented to place brackets directly on the teeth. The 1970s also saw the invention of lingual braces that are fitted behind the teeth, which improved the look of teeth, without placing the braces on the front of the teeth. Today’s braces come in so many options and choices, it is hard to believe that ancient humans had so few options.
If you have questions about how far orthodontics have come since ancient times, give Senestraro Family Orthodontics a call at (503) 446-5815. We love talking about orthodontic history, and we love even more to discuss how far the practice of orthodontics has come.