Are you or someone you know getting braces soon? Whether you’re young or old, take heart in knowing you aren’t alone.
More than 4 million people in the United States wear braces, and 25 percent are adults!
You know the answer to the question, what are braces, but do you know the facts about braces? Because there is far more than meets the eye to these little metal wonders. And if you’re putting them in your mouth, don’t you want to know all the facts about braces?
Braces have been around for over 300 years, so keep reading to find out seven braces facts and have some braces fun while you’re at it!
Braces Have NASA Technology
Did you ever think you would have NASA technology in your mouth? You might not think of braces of anything other than pieces of metal, but it’s not your standard everyday metal.
The orthodontic industry took huge strides when NASA developed nickel-titanium in 1959. The heat-resistant metal was especially for space shuttles heading out to the vastness of space.
But it was also perfect for crafting thin and flexible wires that can maintain their shape no matter what—making them ideal for straightening out your teeth.
Braces Are Over 300 Years Old
Braces are so standard today that you probably don’t even think much about their history. Or even realize how long they’ve been around.
But evidence shows even our ancient counterparts wanted a beautiful, straight smile. Archaeologist findings show metal pieces on the teeth during ancient Egyptian times. And a cord attaching these metal pieces made from animal skin was also called “catgut.”
In ancient Rome, Aulus Cornelius Celsus attempted to straighten his teeth using pressure from his hands regularly. Though he reported this method as having some success, it’s no easy task to verify his findings now.
Braces were quiet for a long time after this. It wasn’t until 1728 that people started talking about straight teeth again when a French dentist named Pierre Fauchard crafted the first pair of braces. He made them from flat pieces of metal and string.
In 1819 Christophe-Francois Delabarre invented a wire crib-like device that could be placed on your teeth.
It wasn’t until 1900 that braces became popular. But they were expensive, and most people had no way to afford them.
Braces Don’t Only Straighten Your Teeth
We already know that braces transform crooked teeth. But believe it or not, they provide some other real benefits too.
Braces can not only fix your bite but can also correct problems with chewing and swallowing. If your bite doesn’t line up, eating becomes much more complex than you think.
Braces also help with difficulty speaking along with breathing problems. If your teeth don’t line up, it can make breathing at night much more difficult.
It takes precise movements of your mouth and tongue to form the right sounds. If your teeth aren’t where they should be, it makes talking a big challenge.
Properly aligned teeth also mean fewer cavities for you. With proper spacing between your teeth, you can finally reach the nooks and crannies.
Edward Angle was the First Orthodontist
Edward Hartley Angle is thought to be the “father” of orthodontics as we know it today.
Edward was the first dentist to focus his practice on orthodontics only! He was also crucial in establishing what is known today as the American Association of Orthodontists.
He also created the first education program to train specialists in the field of orthodontics. And while he was at it, he made a prefabricated appliance system for braces. Angle even created the term malocclusion, which refers to the abnormalities to teeth positioning.
You Have Many Options
Today, you’re not just stuck with one option anymore. Technology has offered us many new possibilities in the world of orthodontics.
Of course, you have your metal braces, which are the traditional kind with metal brackets and writing. They are likely responsible for the term “metal mouth.” Though now metal braces are much smaller and much less noticeable.
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, but the brackets are transparent, so they blend in with your teeth. Combine them with clear wires, and you’ll forget you ever had braces in the first place.
Next, we have lingual braces. Lingual braces are much like your standard metal braces. However, the brackets are attached to the inside of your teeth instead.
Invisalign comes in a series of 15 to 20 custom-made plastic aligners. They are removable, and you have to replace them every two weeks while they move your teeth.
Early Braces Were Gold
Did you know that gold was the go-to metal for braces back in 1900? Long before the days of NASA, people had to come up with their metal-making ideas.
Gold is malleable, meaning you can heat it and get it to stretch and mold to teeth easily. So it was easy to shape into braces.
Can you imagine if braces were still made from gold? Where would our teeth be today?
Retainers Areas Important As Braces
You might believe your travels with the orthodontist end once you get your braces off. Well, think again!
Maintaining your straight teeth is a lifelong commitment. Once your braces are removed, your dentist makes a mold of your perfectly straight teeth.
Luckily nowadays, you have so many types of retainers to choose from! Some, like the Hawley retainer, are made from a combination of acrylic and metal wires.
Then you have the clear removable retainers that fit over the top of your teeth. Or you can go with a more permanent solution such as fixed retainers. These retainers are attached to the inside of your lower teeth to keep them straight for years to come.
Now you know some fantastic braces facts, you’re ready to embark on your teeth straightening journey!
Remember, you’re never too old for straight teeth and a confident smile. If you enjoyed this guide and want to learn more, check out the rest of our blog for some more cool facts!
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