Orthodontics: A Historical Perspective

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Though orthodontics may seem like a relatively modern branch of dentistry, its roots actually tie back to ancient Egypt.

Archeologists have found crude metal bands around the bite of Egyptian mummies. They believe that catgut may have been attached to these bands to supply the pressure required to shift them into position. Ancient Greeks, Etruscans and Romans displayed an interest in orthodontics as well.

In 1728, the development of orthodontics was revived when Pierre Fauchard, sometimes called the Father of Dentistry, invented a device called a bandeau. This was a custom-made metal strip shaped like a horseshoe. It was cut with holes to fit around the teeth and was made to apply pressure to correct alignment. Fauchard also performed surgery to forcibly realign crooked teeth. Over time, others in France, America and other parts of the world gradually began to make contributions to the field.

Around 1880, an orthodontist called Edward Hartley Angle successfully recognized the properties of a malocclusion. He addressed these problems with increasingly effective orthodontic appliances. Angle is now called the Father of Modern Orthodontics.

Since the dawn of modern orthodontics, braces have gradually become lighter, more suitable and allowed for quicker treatments. Stainless steel has replaced gold and silver and inventions such as ceramic braces, lingual braces and clear aligners make modern orthodontics more fashionable and proficient.

If you would like orthodontic treatment, you can give us a ring at 985-626-0160 to talk to a member of Dr. Rebecca Payne deVerges’s staff at Northshore Orthodontics in Mandeville, Louisiana. We are dedicated to the health and beauty of your smile.