How Braces Evolved Over Time

You might not realise this but people have been wanting to improve how their smiles look since ancient times.

The great thing about living in modern times is that anybody, literally anybody has the ability to improve their smiles in a very simple and effective manner… all thanks to the developments of modern technology. Here in this article we’re going to show you that it wasn’t always this easy and simple.

1. Braces in Ancient Greece and Rome

Braces in Ancient RomeIf you look at history then you’ll find that there were people as famous as Aristotle who were busy thinking of ways to help people straighten their teeth all the way back in 300 BC.

If you look into the history of Ancient Rome then you will find that they used to bury their dead with appliances that were made to help maintain people’s jaws and teeth when they were alive. In fact there have been many remains that have been found where people have bands made from metal around their teeth.

There was actually a case where an archeologist found a body which had gold wire attached to the teeth. Surprisingly along with the body was some documentation which showed that the purpose of the wires was to straighten out the teeth!

2. 18th Century France

Braces in the 18th CenturyBack in the early 18th century there was a french dentist (who is thought of as the father of modern dentistry) who wrote a book which detailed many different methods to help people straighten out their teeth. In fact he even created something known as a blandeau to help widen up the upper palate of the mouth.

There was another french dentist who wrote a book in the mid 18th century, which discussed the topic of correcting tooth alignment. He went into great detail about the topic of tooth extraction to help people overcome the issue of tooth crowding!

3. Orthodontics in the 19th Century

Braces in the 19th CenturyOrthodontics first became a recognised speciality in the 19th century. 1819 was the first year that metal wires were actually used to help people correct their crooked teeth.

It was around this time that all sort of materials were used like gold, silver, steel, rubber, and even wood, ivory, and copper to create things like loops, spurs, and ligatures… all to help straighten out those teeth!

E J Tucker was the first guy to make rubber bands specifically for braces back in the 1850’s.

It was a guy named JN Farrar (a dentist) who first encouraged the idea to use a small amount of force, over a sustained period of time to help people fix the alignment of their teeth.

4. Orthodontics in the 20th Century

Braces in the 20th CenturyA dentist by the name of Edward Angle was the first dentist to create the modern systems for correcting crooked teeth and bad bite that orthodontists still use to this day. He was also the guy that founded what is today known as the American Association of Orthodontics back in 1901.

It was around the 1960s when orthodontists completely stopped using gold in their treatment of correcting teeth and instead opted for stainless steel.

The first invisible braces to be created were actually lingual braces. Those are the braces that were placed in the insides of people’s teeth. However when ceramic braces came out in the early 80’s people preferred them because not only were they invisible but they were a lot more effective.

5. Braces in the Modern Day

Braces in the Modern DayWell, the truth is you only really have to look at your own braces to see how much progress we’ve made when it comes to orthodontics. Using modern technology your orthodontist probably created 3D models of your mouth and then created custom archwires based off the model that was made.

Some of the modern advancements include things like clear aligners (Invisalign, anyone?), self litigating brackets, ceramic (clear) brackets, and even heat activated wires!

Orthodontics has come a massive way since the times of Ancient Rome and Greece…. and massive progress has been made over the last few decades. Just imagine having to lug around that ugly headgear if you wanted straight teeth!

No matter how crooked your teeth are or what kind of treatment you’re going to have to go through, the reality is that modern advancements have made getting that perfect smile more easier than ever before in history!

This is a cool little video that goes into the history of orthodontics and how it evolved over the last few centuries…