Hippocrates was the first to describe orthodontic problems around 400 B.C., but the roots of modern orthodontics extend all the way back to ancient Egypt. Archaeologists have found mummies with metal bands attached to their smiles, and believe these were crude attempts to move teeth. Ancient Greeks and Romans also used metal bands to attempt to straighten teeth while Pliny the Elder, who lived in the first century A.D., recommended filing teeth to make them appear straighter and more uniform.
These early advances were largely forgotten until the 18th century, when French dentist Pierre Fauchard created a metal strip that he called a bandeau, which was designed to force teeth to move. In the U.S., J.S. Gunnell created a form of headgear that put pressure on teeth to move the jaw. As the world hurtled towards the 20th century, the field of orthodontics began changing rapidly. In 1880, Edward Hartley Angle identified and defined malocclusions and ways to address them using a variety of orthodontic appliances, largely by wrapping wires around individual teeth.
It took nearly one hundred years for dentists to develop effective dental adhesives that allowed brackets to be attached directly to the surface of the teeth, rather than wires to be wrapped around teeth. Stainless steel began to be used in place of silver and gold, and technology rapidly advanced as lingual and ceramic braces gave patients even more options when it came to straightening their smiles aesthetically.
Today, patients can choose from many orthodontic appliances, including clear aligners and conventional orthodontics, to create their dream smiles. Call our office today to learn more.