How did Orthodontics Develop?

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Orthodontics is defined as any technique designed to shift crooked teeth and bites into their proper positions. Though orthodontics may seem relatively modern, the fact is that its roots tie back to ancient Egypt.

Archeologists have discovered crude metal bands around the bite of Egyptian mummies. It is thought that catgut may have actually been tied to these bands to supply the pressure needed to shift them into position. Ancient Greeks, Etruscans and Romans displayed an interest in orthodontics as well.

In 1728, an attention to the development of orthodontics was revived when Pierre Fauchard, a Frenchman often considered the Father of Dentistry, invented an appliance called a bandeau. A bandeau was a metal strip shaped like a horseshoe with holes that fit around teeth to apply the pressure to correct their alignment. Fauchard also performed surgery to forcibly realign crooked teeth. In the 18th and 19th centuries, others in France, America and other parts of the world gradually made contributions to the field.

Around 1880, a man called Edward Hartley Angle successfully identified the properties of a malocclusion, or the misalignment of the teeth and jaw that necessitates orthodontics. He addressed them with increasingly effective orthodontic appliances. Angle is now called the Father of Modern Orthodontics and was probably the first modern orthodontist.

Since the dawn of modern orthodontics, braces have gradually become lighter, more convenient and faster than ever. Stainless steel has replaced gold and silver and products and ceramic braces, lingual braces and clear aligners make orthodontic treatment more discrete and proficient.

If you would like orthodontic treatment, you can phone 425-888-1896 to talk to a member of Dr. Kirby Nelson’s staff at Kirby Nelson Orthodontics in North Bend, Washington. We are dedicated to the health and beauty of your smile.