Although braces result in beautiful smiles, they are not typically referred to as “fun” by their wearers. However, braces have a long and interesting history, dating back to ancient times. Records show that ancient Egyptians even created a rudimentary form of braces, hoping to correct their dental problems. Straight teeth have been a goal for many generations since. If you don’t think braces are fun – especially the braces we are lucky to have today – then you would be mistaken!
To wear your braces with pride and embrace the fun that comes with them, we have compiled five interesting facts about braces and their history.
Number One: Bonjour, Braces!
While they have a long history, the first type of braces that resemble today’s designs were made in 1728. French dentist Pierre Fauchard, recognized as the father of modern dentistry, created braces from gold wire, fastened to teeth with thread. His discovery that wire could shape the alignment of teeth is the basis of orthodontics today.
Number Two: Space Style
Building upon Dr. Fauchard’s wire and thread braces, Edward Angle created brackets in 1915. Like the wires made back in 1728, the first brackets were made with either 14 or 18 karat gold. Using this malleable metal to shape the brackets was innovative, but expensive.
In 1959, a new substance, nickel titanium, becomes the future of brackets. Nickel titanium is a metal alloy made by NASA, discovered when trying to create a heat-resistant metal for shuttles going to space. This same heat-resistant property allows braces to be shaped for a patient, then they restructure to their original form. The result is a smile that is perfectly shaped!
Number Three: Techy Teeth
Align Technology, the company that created Invisalign, was established in 1997 by two Stanford business school graduates. Zia Chisti and Kelsey Wirth had no dental experience, just an idea for wireless braces, and access to 3D computer technology. Since then, the company has printed millions of their transparent braces, changing the notion of what braces are and can be.
Number Four: Braces Buddies
Think you’re alone? Think again! In the US today, over 4 million people are currently in orthodontic care. Whether sporting metal braces, Invisalign, retainers, or expanders, patients across the country look to their orthodontist for the smile they’ve always wanted.
Number Five: Smiling Stars
Braces are worn by kids, adults, and – more often than you realized – by celebrities. Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Tom Cruise, Emma Watson, Faith Hill, Gwen Stefani, and more have achieved their famous smiles through orthodontic care. Taking good care of your teeth can take you a long way; sometimes, it can even take you to Hollywood!
Whether you are learning to love your new braces or you are considering getting braces of your own, Dr. Hudson is here to offer more fun facts, answer questions, and listen to your concerns. Make your appointment with Dr. Hudson today to discuss your orthodontic options.