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History of Dental Braces

Would you believe that the very first set of braces was discovered to have been used since before the time of Christ? The ancient Romans and mummified ancients were discovered with metal and wires on their teeth thought to be used as an attempt at straightening them. Orthodontics didn’t really advance since then however, until the late 1700’s. French Dentist Pierre Fauchard published his book “The Surgeon Dentist”, which contained a chapter on ways to straighten teeth.

The very first set of braces in the early 1900’s was actually made out of gold pieces wrapped completely around each tooth, and the adjustments made with a 14 to 18 karat gold wire. If you can imagine, the first braces were very expensive.

Now days we have things like heat activated wires developed by NASA that retain their tooth-moving abilities longer than ordinary metal wires and require less frequent attention from orthodontist. We also have things such as Invisalign invisible braces that you virtually can not see.

Check out this graphical slide show of the history of orthodontics, including advancements in reconstructive jaw surgery and bone lengthening.