Throughout history, people have struggled to care for their teeth. Our ancestors often had to deal with painful infections and crude methods of dentistry. Of course, people have always wanted attractive smiles, too, which is why the history of orthodontics stretches back further than you might have guessed. Let’s take a look at the path that led to the modern innovations that help people achieve beautiful, straight teeth.
The Very Beginning
Archaeologists have found evidence that people who existed thousands of years ago employed methods to attempt to straighten their teeth. Mummified skeletons have been found with metal attachments on each tooth, which were supposedly placed there to reposition the person’s pearly whites. A Roman tomb in Egypt even contained the remains of a person who had gold wiring attached to their teeth. Various other materials, including rubber, steel, wood, and ivory, have been used throughout history as part of attempts to straighten teeth.
While we can admire the initiative behind these early attempts at orthodontics, we may not be able to applaud them for their effectiveness. There were no major breakthroughs in teeth-straightening methods until the 1700s.
Advancements in the 18th and 19th Centuries
In 1728, a French dentist by the name Pierre Fauchard published a book with the title “The Surgeon Dentist.” In the book, an entire chapter was dedicated to various methods used to straighten teeth. A few decades later, a different author released another book, “The Dentist’s Art,” which also examined orthodontic techniques.
A major landmark in the development of braces came in 1819, when the fire wire crib was used to straighten teeth. Thus began the modern era of modern orthodontics.
Later in the 19th century, J.N. Farrar came up with a method of straightening teeth that involved applying gentle pressure to teeth at regular intervals in order to reposition them.
Methods for straightening teeth remained mostly the same until the mid-1970s, when adhesives became more common in dental practices. Wires could now be bonded directly to teeth instead of simply wrapped around them.
In recent decades, innovative techniques have made getting a straight smile easier than ever. Thanks to products like ClearCorrect, brackets and wires are no longer always necessary to reposition teeth. This orthodontic method uses a series of clear aligners to urge those pearly whites into their correct places.
Misaligned teeth or a bad bite can have a host of ill effects on a person’s life. They mays make it difficult to chew food correctly, be bad for aesthetics, and damage oral health. Thankfully, though, modern orthodontics from a dentist in Corpus Christi can help everyone to have a beautiful, functional set of pearly whites.
About the Author
Dr. Sarah Pitarra leads the team of professionals at dentist’s office in Corpus Christi. She is proud to help her patients achieve great oral health and gorgeous smiles, which is why she provides ClearCorrect braces. If you’re interested in learning more about how your teeth can be straighter, contact our office at 361-855-7171.