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The History of Braces

By Kellyn Hodges on October 10, 2016

Woman with braces on her teethStraight teeth contribute to a healthy and beautiful smile. Unfortunately, many patients suffer from malocclusion problems. As the teeth grow and shift in the mouth, it is common for patients to develop issues with the spacing and positioning of the teeth. Braces place pressure on the teeth and, over time, reposition them to improve a patient’s bite.

For decades, patients have been relying on orthodontic treatment to correct malocclusion problems and produce straight, even teeth. But when did braces first come into use? Here, patients can learn about the history of braces, and how our Philadelphia, PA orthodontic practice is using the latest orthodontic techniques to provide our patients with a wide range of teeth straightening treatment options.

The History of Teeth Straightening

History shows us that long before the term “braces” was ever coined, people throughout ancient civilizations desired straight teeth and an even bite. Archeologists examining mummified remains in Egypt have found that many had a cord wrapped around the teeth. These cords are wrapped around the teeth in a similar manner to how traditional braces and wires are attached to the teeth. This suggests that these cords may have been placed in an attempt to shift the teeth and close unwanted gaps.

The Romans also show evidence of early attempts at orthodontics. Aulus Cornelius Celsus came up with a technique to improve the bite by applying finger pressure. He suggested that, by applying finger pressure at regular intervals, people could shift their teeth into proper position. He practiced this technique and kept extensive notes of his findings.

Archeologists have also found dental appliances in Roman tombs. Some Roman remains were found with gold wire affixed to the teeth. These appliances closely resemble modern braces.

Introduction of Modern Braces

The modern braces that we know today were researched and tested for many years before they were introduced to the public. Braces and orthodontic treatment first appeared in medical literature in the 1770s. Below are some of the key events involved in the invention of modern braces:

  • In 1819, the wire crib was introduced. This wire device was affixed to the teeth, and is viewed by many as the first form of modern day braces.
  • In 1843, Dr. Edward Maynard used gum elastics and wiring to slowly move the jaw into proper alignment.
  • In 1850, Dr. E.J. Tucker improved on Dr. Maynard’s technique by cutting rubber tubing into small bands that fit more comfortably in the mouth.
  • In 1893, the Baker anchorage was introduced. This combined the wire crib with rubber bands to create a single orthodontic appliance.
  • In the early 1900s, the term “braces” was coined. These were small bands individually wrapped around each tooth and then connected by a wire.
  • In the 1970s, the introduction of dental bonding greatly improved the braces technique, allowing for the traditional braces we are familiar with today.
  • In 1997, the invisible braces system, Invisalign®, was invented

Orthodontic Treatment Today

Thanks to the studies and discoveries of those before her, Dr. Kellyn Hodges is able to offer her patients the most advanced orthodontic techniques. Whether a patient is interested in traditional braces, more discreet Invisalign® treatment, or the quick results of fast acting adult braces, they will find what they’re looking for at Dr. Hodges’ practice. Dr. Hodges is happy to help patients find an orthodontic solution that is appropriate for their unique situation.

Schedule a Consultation

If crooked teeth or a misaligned bite are compromising your smile, it’s time to consider orthodontic treatment. To learn more about the wide range of teeth straightening treatment options offered by Dr. Kellyn Hodges, schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.

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