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History of Orthodontics


A boy with a crooked teeth at Senestraro Family Orthodontics.Orthodontics is not a new science. The practice of orthodontics has been around for thousands of years. Orthodontics got its start with the pyramids and Pharaohs. If you don’t know all about the history of orthodontics, Senestraro Family Orthodontics have some information for you on the history of orthodontics in those thousands of years from the Egyptians until today.

When Did Orthodontics Start?


Historians say that while it is hard to determine the dental health of really ancient skeletons because many of them are missing parts of their teeth and jaws, they know that humans have had crooked teeth for a long time. Crooked teeth have been a problem for over 50,000 years. People started trying to correct teeth in Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians even used braces as a way to correct tooth problems. Historians think that when the Egyptians were using braces, it was to fix teeth that weren’t properly aligned, or that were poorly spaced. Egyptians tried to use metal bands to correct teeth. They tied the metal bands to the teeth with catgut. The catgut ties used pressure to move the teeth.

The Ancient Egyptians


Ancient Egypt was not the only place to try and fix teeth with orthodontics. The Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Etruscans also worked to correct bites and teeth placement. Etruscans used gold bands to correct crooked teeth in their women. The gold bands were permanently left in place, and remained in the mouth even when the woman died. Greek scholars wrote about problems with teeth in 400BC. Pliny the Elder and Celsus also wrote about fixing teeth 2000 years ago.

The Colonial Period


Orthodontics was written about a long time ago, but it was during the colonial period that people began to study orthodontics. Wax impressions were made of teeth to be used as models as early as the 1600s. Pierre Fauchard, who is called the father of dentistry, made metal bands to fix misaligned teeth. Fauchard believed in moving teeth quickly and tied teeth to surrounding teeth to keep them in places. Some dentists separated teeth that were overcrowded. They inserted threads or wedges in between teeth to keep them spaced properly.

The 19th and 20th Centuries


The modern period of orthodontics began in the 19th century. People began to write books about orthodontic care. Dentists figured out how to get teeth to rotate properly. They also put gold caps on molars to fix bites. Rubber was also used to correct bites and tooth spacing.

Edward Angle, who is considered the father of modern orthodontics, identified the causes of bite problems and figured out how to correct improper bites. He directed orthodontists to put brackets on teeth and use wires to get teeth to move, which was the modern foundation of braces. In the 1970s, dental adhesives allowed brackets to be cemented to the teeth instead of being held in place by wires winding around the teeth.

Lingual braces were also developed in the 1970s. Lingual braces allowed adults to put braces behind the teeth rather than in front of the teeth. Now there are a lot of options for you and your teeth. Do you have questions about orthodontics or the history of orthodontics? Give Senestraro Family Orthodontics a call at (503) 694-9636.
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