In today’s world, it seems like cosmetic dentistry is just beginning to boom. More people than ever want to see their dentists for solely cosmetic purposes like whitening their teeth. In both professional and social situations, a clean, bright smile can go a long way to making a good impression.
However, did you know that even in ancient times, people wanted their teeth to look good? In fact, evidence of orthodontic procedures date back to ancient Greek and Roman times. There is a long history to braces and their uses, and they have only gotten better as the years have progressed.
Archaeological finds dating back to ancient Italy, Greece, and Rome have included evidence of dental applications that look shockingly similar to braces. In ancient Italy, the Etruscans used spacers to prevent their teeth from collapsing. They were even buried with these spacers still in place. An ancient Roman tomb was found that contained mummified remains with teeth bound by gold wire. The tomb even included documentation that the wire was used for straightening purposes.
The 18th Century
Today, we acknowledge Pierre Fauchard as the father of dentistry. His studies in dental applications and procedures advanced oral care to new heights and the modern dental world is basically founded on his discoveries. However, he also pioneered methods for straightening teeth, and in 1728, he published a book outlining these methods. Another French dentist, Louis Bourdet, also published a book about straightening teeth in 1754 and was the first to extract teeth to prevent overcrowding in the mouth.
The 19th and 20th Century
The beginning of modern orthodontics started in the early portion of the 19th century, with the use of the first wire crib in 1819. Plenty of dentists and orthodontists began independent studies to further advance orthodontics and create the modern way of thinking when it came to dentists. Many of the practices created in those days are still used today. For example, Edward Angle was the first to create a classification system for malocclusions in early 20th century, and we still use that classification system today.
Today, braces have advanced far beyond anything imagined in ancient times. We use 3D digital models to create treatment plans and have access to an abundance of dental resources to help your teeth straighten out. You have a wide variety of treatment options available to you, and you can basically choose what you want when it comes to braces.
With options like Invisalign, adults can feel confident in straightening their teeth without having a mouth full of metal to worry about. Of course, the need for traditional braces is still present, and that may be an option you need to take.
Whatever your situation, having the opportunity to use braces is definitely something to smile about, and you can thank the pioneers who came before us for the great opportunities we have today. We can also look forward to a future with further advances in dentistry and orthodontics. The only way to go is up, and people all over the world are always searching for new ways to improve braces.