The Origin of Braces

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Did you ever wonder how braces came to be? We currently have many modern forms of braces and orthodontic devices, developed to solve the smiling problems of people in every generation. However, there is good evidence that orthodontics surprisingly started thousands of years ago.

According to an article by Dr. Norman Wahl in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, evidence of crooked teeth has been found in humans living 50,000 years ago! The first known description of human tooth irregularities was written by Hippocrates, Ancient Greek Father of Medicine, in 400 B.C.

Evidence of orthodontic procedures has been found dating as early as 1,000 B.C. Based on archaeological studies, the early Greek and Etruscan civilizations had burial rituals that included a device similar to a mouth guard placed in the mouth of the recently deceased to prevent the back teeth from collapsing inward, which would help their deceased to look good in the afterlife. Remnants of Egyptian mummies have been found with β€œCatgut” or cord made from fibres of animal intestines wrapped around their teeth, arguably to play the role of orthodontic braces and archwires.

Pierre Fauchard (1678-1761), the Father of Dentistry, used a horseshoe-shaped strip of metal that he called a “bandeau”, which contained regularly spaced holes that could receive smaller soft wires looped around the teeth and tightened to improve their alignment. Did you also know that the first headgear, and the original palate expander were both invented and first used back in the 1800’s?!

Isn’t the history of Orthodontics fascinating? To learn about modern orthodontic appliances and options, consult us at Beach Braces in Toronto. We will gladly work with you to find the best solutions for all your orthodontic problems!

– Dr. Dask