When most people think of the term ‘orthodontics’ the first thing that comes to mind is often the most advanced teeth-straightening treatments like our Woodland Hills Invisalign clear aligners or bright and shiny stainless steel braces. However, by digging deeper into the history of orthodontics, we find that “braces” date back as far as ancient man! Here’s a brief yet fascinating history of orthodontics to enjoy reading, compliments of your favorite Northridge orthodontist!
Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) tell us that archaeologists discovered mummified human remains with metal bands wrapped around their teeth. This makes it apparent that having a beautiful smile has been something people have wanted for thousands of years!
There have been several people who’ve contributed to what we now know as orthodontics. Back in the early 1700s, a French dentist by the name of Pierre Fauchard published a book with an entire chapter dedicated to the practice of straightening teeth. Another notable orthodontic pioneer was an American by the name of Edward Angle. He’s credited with coming up with the first simple classification system for malocclusions in the early 1900s which is still used today.
While today’s modern braces are made of high-grade stainless steel, long ago braces were made of other materials like platinum, gold, gum rubber, zinc, copper, vulcanite, and sometimes even wood, brass, and ivory. While stainless steel became widely available in the late 1920s, it was not commonly used for braces until the 1950s rolled around.
Before the 1970s, the brackets on braces were anchored to the teeth by wrapping wires around each individual tooth. But once dental adhesives were made available, orthodontists began modernizing braces by bonding the brackets directly to the teeth. As time passed, more and more people could afford to straighten their teeth because stainless steel was being used to make braces instead of the more costly silver and gold.
Between the 1970s and early 1990s, the concept of invisible braces was of great interest and study as many orthodontic patients wanted their treatment to be more discreet. But it wasn’t until 1997 when Zia Chishti, a Stanford University graduate with no medical or dental background, came up with the brilliant idea of using clear removable plastic aligners to move teeth. In just a few short years, Chishti and his partners created the new generation of high-tech braces called Invisalign. Once this new treatment option was made available to the public in 2000, orthodontists the world over began offering Invisalign treatment to teenagers and adults. And the rest is history!
We hope you enjoyed this journey through time that shows just how far orthodontics has come! If you (or your child) could benefit from orthodontic treatment, we’d love to help you achieve your greatest possible smile! Our talented orthodontist, Dr. Sanjideh offers all the latest and most advanced types of braces like self-ligating ceramic braces, In-Ovation C, and of course, the remarkable Invisalign aligners! Just use our handy online booking form to request your free exam today! We look forward to hearing from you soon!