Braces: An Orthodontic Evolution

When you visit your orthodontist to receive treatment to align your teeth and your jaw, you will likely notice their state-of-the-art diagnostic and restorative treatment equipment. But orthodontics is not a new dental field. Individuals have been making efforts to straighten their teeth since nearly the beginning of humankind.

Braces, a traditional and easily recognizable orthodontic solution, can trace their origins to ancient civilizations. But it didn’t always look like metal wires and brackets. Dr. Wayne Sankey, an orthodontist serving patients in Flower Mound, TX, describes the history behind orthodontic treatment with braces.

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Early Attempts to Straighten Teeth

Archaeologists have uncovered mummies from early civilizations that had a cord and metal attached to their teeth. The first documented effort to straighten a smile, however, came from Ancient Rome, when philosopher Aulus Cornelius Celsus wrote that he could move his teeth when he applied pressure to them with his hands at regular intervals.

In the eighteenth century, French dental professionals began to focus their efforts on the field of orthodontics. They created a device that could expand the palette of the mouth and prevent teeth from shifting out of place. They began to perform tooth extraction procedures to prevent teeth from overcrowding in the mouth as well.

The Road to Traditional Braces

An early version of traditional metal braces as we might imagine them was invented in 1819. They featured a wire crib over a dental patient’s teeth. As the century progressed, dentists began adding elastic and rubber banding to this appliance to make it feel more comfortable for their patients.

By the early twentieth century, braces became popular, though this treatment was too expensive for the general public. In the 1970s, dentists reworked their design, replacing the metal framework with steel and prioritizing patient comfort. The new version of braces was more affordable and accessible as well, becoming similar to the braces that orthodontists employ for their patients today.

Modern Orthodontic Solutions

Orthodontic professionals still utilize traditional metal braces when aligning the bites of their patients today. However, new advancements in orthodontic treatment have made braces more comfortable and effective.

Patients prefer discretion when it comes to straightening their teeth. They would like a way to enhance the look of their smile without compromising its appearance during this treatment.

Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners constructed according to the patient’s unique dental structure. These fixtures can straighten their smiles while appearing nearly invisible on their teeth. For patients who require more intensive orthodontic solutions, orthodontists can offer ceramic braces that can blend into their natural tooth color compared to metal brackets and wires.

Braces for Teens and Adults Available in Flower Mound, TX

Flower Mound Orthodontics provides braces for teens, adults, and patients of any age in the greater Flower Mound, TX area. Dr. Sankey also offers Invisalign, oral appliances, and other orthodontic solutions to his patients. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 972.833.8212 or reach a member of our staff online.