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The Development of Orthodontics

Posted on December 22, 2017

You may think of orthodontics as a recent development, but orthodontics has been developing since ancient times. This branch of dentistry has developed gradually over time to become the modern orthodontics we know and love today.

Orthodontics in Ancient Times

Human remains with crooked teeth have been found dating back 50,000 years. Ancient Egyptian mummies have been discovered with metal bands around their teeth. It is believed that catgut may have been tied to these bands, thus providing pressure to straighten the teeth. The Etruscans also practiced orthodontics. They placed a golden band on women to preserve the position of their teeth after death.

Orthodontics in the 18th Century

Pierre Fauchard, who is considered as the Father of Dentistry, invented a straightening appliance called a bandeau. This orthodontic appliance was a metal strip shaped like a horseshoe with holes that fit around the teeth to improve their alignment. Fauchard also operated on patients with a forceps-like tool to forcibly realign the teeth. Fauchard would then tie the teeth to their neighboring teeth to hold them in place during the healing process.

19th Century Orthodontics

In 1822, the occipital anchorage, which was headgear that fastened to the jaw from the outside of the jaw to put gentle pressure on the teeth, was invented. In 1840, Chapin A. Harris published a book which outlined dental practices, as well as orthodontic ones, of the times. Orthodontists began using rubber in orthodontic appliances around 1840.

Modern Orthodontics

Beginning in about 1880, Edward Hartley Angle, who is considered the Father or Orthodontics, identified the properties of malocclusion and began addressing them in increasingly effective ways. Before the 1970s, braces brackets were attached by wrapping wires around each tooth. In the 1970s, adhesives were introduced that allowed the brackets to be attached directly to the surfaces of the teeth instead. Around the same time, stainless steel replaced gold and silver as the material of the most common wires. Lingual braces, which attach to the backs of the teeth, were also introduced in the 1970s.

Contact Orthodontic Avenue at 972.899.5455 to learn more about orthodontics in Grand Prairie, Texas, and to book a consultation with Dr. Dipak Chudasama.

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