Orthodontics is one of the most sophisticated facets of dentistry and there are some interesting things about braces that you might find hard to believe.
You may think that orthodontics is a modern development in dentistry and in their current guise they actually are, but the history of braces is one that traces back a very, very long way. There have been countless advances in orthodontics over the last few decades but they have their roots in a far more primitive method of straightening teeth. In the 21st century, we are also able to perform a range of techniques to suit every individual patient’s needs and with far greater efficiency than we have ever managed to achieve. It is now as simple as having your braces fitted by an expert (us), wearing them, taking them off and wearing a retainer for a little while and boom, you have a beautifully straight smile. Let’s take a look at some things you may not know about.
The first braces were used hundreds of years ago
A Frenchman by the name of Pierre Fauchard created the first braces all the way back in 1728 and they were essentially a piece of flattened metal that was attached to the patient’s teeth by using a thread. Edward Angle went on to further perfect the treatment by making advances in the area of tooth alignment. He used 14 to 18-carat gold because it was easy to shape and created the brackets now synonymous with braces in 1915.
NASA helped to create wires for braces
This one you might have a hard time believing but it is absolutely true. NASA, yes, that NASA, created a metal alloy in 1959 that they called “nickel titanium” which was a super heat resistant material that was used on the shuttles that went into space. Dr Angle’s innovative gold braces were a huge step forward for orthodontics but ultimately were too expensive and this new metal meant that braces would maintain their shape after fitting.
Some things that braces don’t do
There are a whole host of myths and urban legends associated with braces and we would like to take this opportunity to clear a few up for you. So here it goes. Braces will never set off any metal detectors. They are not magnetic and they certainly do not pick up radio signals. It is not possible to get stuck together when you kiss someone else with braces. They don’t affect your ability to play sports or to play any musical instruments that use your mouth.