There’s more to orthodontics than just a field of medicine. For example, the desire to have straighter and whiter teeth has been around from time immemorial. And even in the past, people made attempts to improve teeth positioning. In this article, we’ll describe a brief history of orthodontics.

Earliest braces?

The desire for straight and gorgeous teeth isn’t just a modern-day phenomenon. Many archaeologists have discovered mummies with metal bands fitted around their teeth! In ancient times, catgut was used to close teeth gaps. Catgut is a thin, rugged cord made from the intestines of goats or sheep. It was used in place of the wire. Around 500 BC, Hippocrates, a Greek physician, and Aristotle, a philosopher, considered several methods of improving dental conditions and inclusive teeth straightening.

What we now consider “braces” dates as far back as 1728. Pierre Fauchard, a French dentist, published a book titled “The Surgeon Dentist.” The book contained a chapter about teeth straightening. Dr. Fauchard is believed to have invented modern braces by using pieces of thread to link flat strips of metal inside patients’ mouths.

The 19th century

In the 19th century, orthodontics was defined as a distinct dental specialty. Joachim Lafoulon first used the term orthodontia in 1841. In 1819, the first wire crib was invented and put to use, and it was during this time steel, precious metals, vulcanite, and gum rubber were used to create hooks, loops, ligatures, and spurs to straighten teeth.

Also, Edward Maynard used the first gum elastics in 1843, while E. J. Tucker used rubber bands for braces in 1850.

What happened in the 20th century?

I want to mention that Edward Angle founded the American Society of Orthodontia in 1901. In the 1930s, the association was renamed the American Association of Orthodontists. Angle is also the brain behind the first classification system for malocclusions. 

Gold became a popular choice for braces in the 1960s, and even before the 1970s, they were wrapped around the teeth. However, by the mid-70s, orthodontists started adhering brackets directly to the teeth, and the use of lingual braces became widespread.

Modern-day orthodontics

Without a doubt, there has been a tremendous advancement in technology, and the field of orthodontics hasn’t been left out. I dare say that orthodontics has developed tremendously in the last two decades. We have 3D dental imaging and digital x-rays that have better quality and help orthodontists have a more detailed analysis of the mouth’s structure. In addition, orthodontists can now access the images without delay because of their digital nature. 

The i-Cat Cone Beam 3D Dental imaging System is designed to provide a complete set of x-rays in a single 360-degree scan while also creating 3D images of the teeth. Another advantage is that the radiation is lesser with this type of x-rays.

Teeth impressions can now be created digitally instead of manually. Orthodontists at Beam clear aligners can scan your mouth and then view the prints on a computer monitor within a couple of minutes. In addition, digital impressions have a higher degree of accuracy, thus reducing the number of fit issues.

Also, robotic wire-bending tech and CAD/CAM technology used together with a digital scanner help the orthodontist be more precise in placing the wires and brackets.

There are many types of braces available today. Metal braces adhered to the front teeth are still standard, but for those concerned about the visibility of their braces, there are other options such as ceramic braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners

A closer look at clear aligners

Clear aligners help to straighten your teeth without requiring braces. They are also efficient at correcting dental issues (whether mild or moderate). They are so efficient and cost effective that they have become the go-to option for teeth straightening for most adults.

How do they work?

Clear aligners work just as orthodontic braces. They place your teeth in the correct position. But this happens gradually. 

One significant difference between clear aligners and other options is that clear aligners do not use wires or brackets. What’s more, you don’t have to pay regular visits to your dentists for adjustment. Instead, what you do is get a replacement every two weeks. This is because each new set of clear aligners maps your teeth into a new position.

To enjoy the full benefits, you will have to wear your clear aligners for 22 hours each day.

Clear aligners are effective in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Teeth gaps
  • Crowding issues
  • Spacing problems

Beam clear aligners

Beam clear aligners help make dental care more accessible to all Australians and at an affordable rate. That’s why they are the go-to solution for straightening your teeth and improving your smile.

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