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The Journey of Dental Braces since 1700 – Showcased In a Timeline!



Think of the smile with a crooked and misaligned set of teeth that restricts you from showing your natural grin.

What a big turn off!

Who doesn’t want a perfect smile? Even the mummified ancients were discovered to have crude metal bands wrapped around individual teeth. But many of us do not have ideal teeth to give that smile. Thanks to the great history, presence, and future of Orthodontics that has been a hope of millions with crooked teeth.

Today, people can choose from common metal orthodontics to less observable braces or ceramic braces that are transparent. But from where the journey of orthodontia started? Let’s understand with the help of a remarkable Timeline created by Mint Dental in Anchorage, Alaska.

Here is the summary in the timeline:

Early 1700

Discoveries in Dental Braces through the years

This will show the history of Orthodontics braces starting from around 1700 along with dental braces procedure


Early History of Braces

Even ancient people wanted straight teeth! According to the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists), archaeologists have discovered mummified ancients with crude metal bands wrapped around individual teeth.


Beginning of Orthodontics

Orthodontics truly began developing in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. In 1728, French dentist Pierre Fauchard, who took modernized orthodontics, published a book entitled “The Surgeon Dentist” on methods of straightening teeth.


George Washington’s Teeth

In 1789, when George Washington was inaugurated as President of the US, he had only one original tooth remaining, and the rest were made up of dentures. He was plagued by infections, abscesses, and gum disease. The simplest things like eating and talking caused him a lot of discomfort and pain. He had a complete set of dentures made in 1798, the year before he died.


Orthodontics in 19th Century

In 1819, Delabarre introduced the wire crib, which marked the birth of contemporary orthodontics, and gum elastics were first employed by Maynard in 1843. Tucker was the first to cut rubber bands from rubber tubing in 1850. And in the late 1800s, Eugene Solomon Talbot was the first person to use X-rays for orthodontic diagnosis.


Braces in 20th Century

The very first set of braces in the early 1900s was actually made out of gold pieces wrapped completely around each tooth, and the adjustments made with a 14 to 18 karat gold wire.


The First Metal Mouths

Around this time, stainless steel became widely available, but using it for braces was considered somewhat controversial. It wasn’t generally accepted as a material for orthodontic treatment until the late 1950s/early 1960s!


Advancements in the 1970s

Around this time, the self-ligating bracket also appeared on the scene. Self-ligating brackets don’t need tie wires or elastic ligatures to hold the archwire onto the bracket — they are held on by a “trap door” built into each bracket.


Modern Dental Braces

Modern dental braces are manufactured from a wide variety of materials, and many, in addition to serving the functional reasons for wearing them, are quite pleasing in appearance


Parts of Braces

Braces have four basic parts: Brackets made of metal or ceramic. A bracket is attached to each tooth. Bonding material (glue) or a metal band. This is what attaches the bracket to the tooth. An Arch Wire, which is a thin metal wire that runs from bracket to bracket and puts pressure on the teeth. The Ligature Elastic (also called an “o-ring”). This is a small colored elastic that holds the bracket onto the archwire.


How do Braces Work?

The braces need to stay on teeth for about 24 months, during which, they apply continuous force on the teeth which make the teeth move. For this, teeth need to be temporarily loosened, so that the tissues surrounding the particular teeth are stretched into the loosened socket. Once the tooth starts moving into the loosened socket and falls in place eventually, the bone of the tooth will fill around it in the new position and solidify it in that position.


Dental Braces Fitting Procedure

Dental braces are fitted by a dentist or orthodontist. A full dental examination is carried out, X-rays are taken and then plaster molds of the teeth are made. After it is finalized that braces are the best option, treatment can be started as soon as there are enough permanent or adult teeth available. As per the molds, the devices are made and then individual brackets are fitted to each tooth. Small wires or elastics are used to hook between the brackets.


Foods to be Avoided while Wearing Braces

The most obvious foods to avoid are very hard foods like nuts, raw veggies like carrots and celery, corn on the cob, hard cookies, pizza crust, and foods that are sweet and sticky like caramel candies, honey, toffees, raisins, chewing gum and chocolates

Click here for the Timeline