You may be interested to know that the quest for the perfect smile is by no means a uniquely modern phenomenon. In fact, people have been undergoing various kinds of teeth realignment treatments since Ancient Egyptian times!
Interested in the history of braces?
Here are eight things you probably didn’t know about what this specialist area of dentistry looked like in centuries past.
- Basic braces have been found on Ancient Egyptian mummies. These consisted of metal bands around the teeth that probably would’ve been tied together with catgut.
- The Etruscan people were apparently worried about teeth alignment in the afterlife! Many Etruscan women were fitted with a gold band to preserve the position of their teeth after death.
- Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer, advocated filing down elongated teeth so they would fit better.
- The earliest dental impressions were made in the 1600s using wax. This method is a very long way from today’s intraoral scanners!
- The first modern brace was called the bandeau and was invented in the 1700s. It consisted of a horseshoe shaped piece of metal with regularly spaced holes to fit around each tooth.
- Some of the earliest teeth realignment treatments in the 1700s involved operating and moving teeth by force, then tying them into position while they healed.
- Overcrowding problems in the 19th century were often addressed by inserting small wooden wedges in between each tooth.
- Braces underwent a huge transformation in the 1970s when an adhesive was invented that could fix brackets directly to the surface of the tooth. Before this, brace wires had to be wound round each individual tooth.
Fascinating as these facts are, we have to say we’re extremely pleased to be living in an age of modern orthodontics! Why not read about our commitment to new technology in orthodontics?