Who Invented Braces?

It might surprise you to learn that braces are not a new invention. In fact, the idea of orthodontia and teeth straightening goes way back to ancient times! Here’s a brief overview of the evolution of braces and who is responsible for our access to straighter teeth.

Teeth Straightening in Ancient Times

There is evidence to suggest some form of orthodontia dates all the way back to 400 BC. Aristotle and Hippocrates theorized ways to straighten teeth. The Etruscans and Egyptians actually made devices to hold the teeth of mummified bodies in place. Even Romans attempted a version of dental appliances with wire and finger pressure.

The Creation of Orthodontics

Orthodontics became a field of study in the 18th century, when French dentist Pierre Fauchard wrote a book titled, “The Surgeon Dentist”. In 1728, Fauchard invented a device called “The bandeau”, which was a horseshoe-shaped retainer used to keep the curve of teeth in place.

Braces in the 19th Century

In 1819, Christophe-Francois Delabarre invented a wire crib to use for teeth alignment. In 1843 Dr. Edward Maynard used elastics to improve upon the wire crib, and in 1850, EJ Tucker cut elastics into small bands to be used in the process.

Modern Braces

In the 20th century, Edward Angle added to the field of orthodontics when he created a classification for types of malocclusions. He then founded the American Association of Orthodontists. Braces have been commonly used in the United States since the 1970’s, and have seen many advancements in effectiveness and comfort. Most recently, the Invisalign clear retainer was introduced in 1997, by Align Technology, founded by Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth. This clear option is as effective as the traditional wire braces, but is easier to clean and more discreet.

If you are interested in getting noticeably straighter teeth, we want to help. There are many options for orthodontics in New Braunfels we can discuss to get you the smile you’ve dreamed of in no time. Contact us today to set up an appointment for a consultation!

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