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The History of Dental Braces

February 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 191

Did you know that dental braces can actually be traced back to ancient times and the very first set of braces was discovered to have been used since before the time of Christ? If you think braces are painful and bulky today, let's take a look at how 'metal mouth' first came to be...

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, archaeologists discovered mummified bodies with pieces of metal around their teeth. It turns out even people in ancient times wanted a straight smile and were interested in aesthetics. However, serious advances in dentistry came much later, around the 1700s, and there are records of French authors publishing books on dentistry, including Pierre Fauchard's, "The Surgeon Dentist". Orthodontics also saw advances but not until the mid 1800s; J.J. Guildford is credited with publishing the first orthodontics text book in the 1800s.

The initial idea started with using mild force consistently over a period of time to move and straighten the teeth. However, dental braces were constructed a lot more differently than they are today. A century ago, materials such as gold, platinum, silver, steel, rubber, and even occasionally wood, ivory, zinc, copper and brass were used to form the wires, hooks and bands that form braces. Gold and silver were most commonly preferred by royalty, and even then, braces were something that only the wealthy could afford to have. It was definitely a luxury item. As expensive as it was back then, gold was used because it was one of the softer metals and was flexible and easy to shape. Now those are expensive braces! However, because the metal was so soft, they had to be adjusted much more frequently. Interestingly enough, x-rays weren't used regularly until almost recently - the 1950s.

Back in the day, braces used to wrap around your teeth completely. The problem was that the adhesive wasn't created until much later, in the 1970s.

Good thing technology continues to advance at such a rapid pace - today we have alternatives to braces such as Invisalign, which move your teeth using a clear, plastic retainer. Less painful, they can easily be inserted and removed and are virtually invisible. Clear braces are also available as a more aesthetic alternative to the typical silver brackets; gold plated braces are an option for those who are allergic to nickel, a common ingredient in braces; lingual braces actually get placed on the back side of your teeth so they're not visible at all.

Today, dental braces are much easier to adjust causing far less pain and discomfort, they do not need to stay on for as long as they used to and many more aesthetic options are available. At Central Florida Orthodontic Specialists, your smile is in good hands. Treatment is provided by a caring and professional Orthodontist who believes in using the latest technology and techniques.

Source: EzineArticles
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