Many people probably believe that braces are a product of this era as there’s this idea that facial appearance is far more important these days than ever before. It seems that crooked teeth have never been favoured as there is evidence found in mummified remains that braces were used thousands of years ago in a crude form at least. The first braces allegedly were made out of cord derived from the skin of an animal. The cord was attached in much the same way as wire braces today.
Two dentistry books were written from 1728 to 1757 by Pierre Fauchard and Pierre Bourdet. One of the sections was called ‘The Surgeon Dentist’ and emphasised orthodontics and ways that could be used straighten teeth. A device was referred to as a “bandeu” which resembled a mouth guard and seemingly helped to keep teeth in the right place where they had a useful purpose.
In 1757, the King of France’s dentist, Pierre Bourdet, wrote a book referring to Fauchard’s “bandeu.” Bourdet improved the device in a number of ways and also suggested that by removing the wisdom teeth crowding could be alleviated. This is one of the commonest reasons for adults today having crooked teeth.
The 1900s brought new braces ideas
The 1st modern braces were invented in 1819 by Christophe-Francois Delabarre. Each set of 2 teeth had a wire arrangement placed over them in order to keep, them in the right place. In 1843, Dr. Edward Maynard introduced elastics to the braces apparatus which improved the alignment of the jaw. Not long after, Dr. S.C. Barnum in 1864 invented the dental dam, which was a thin bit of latex that was fitted around the teeth that protected the gums from the effect of the braces This technique is still in use today as it’s vital in orthodontic treatment to fit braces without causing any damage to the gums. A version of the dental dam is in use today.
Braces for the 20th Century
Many changes were made to braces but in the 1970s including the introduction of stainless steel and dental adhesives used in the front of the teeth which made getting braces far less painful and damaging. These developments meant that braces could be used for less time to have a desirable effect. They were still unsightly and it wasn’t until more invisible products were invented and introduced in 1997 that orthodontists had really tackled the cosmetic issues of straightening teeth by introducing Invisalign.
3D imaging is the ultimate braces breakthrough
When 3D imaging software was used to provide a map of a patient’s mouth, it was possible to create customised aligners that bit by bit would transform the recipient’s smile, in the same way as braces. It omitted the need for manually tightening the wires or having to put up with a mouthful of metal. Invisalign was finally released in 2000 after thorough testing of the technique. It is now far more standard to use Invisalign than any other teeth straightening device.