History of Orthodontics
There are many medical fields that have seemed to experience a boom in recent years with modern technology. For the most part, with the advancement of the digital age that allows for incredible images that allow us to delve deeper into dentistry and thus help diagnose issues that just a few short decades ago would have seemed impossible, orthodontics can seem like one of the more advanced fields. Due to the capacity to completely rearrange the jaw structure in a relatively short amount of time and optimize oral health, orthodontics can be a life-changer for some, which is why we here at Star Orthodontics are proud to be a part of it.
What Are Orthodontics?
It wasn't that long ago that people who suffered from malocclusion, which is a fancy way of saying crooked teeth, had no other option but to ride it out. These days, a few wires and brackets can have teeth pushed back into place in a relatively short amount of time with minimal discomfort for you. In the very beginning stages of orthodontics, however, braces could be found placed on top of the gums rather than the teeth, and some early dentists would use plugs of wood to force the individual tooth into place.
Mummies from ancient Egypt were discovered with metal bands wrapped around their teeth, and a material such as catgut may have been used to guide teeth into a different position, as opposed to the sterile metal wires and bands used today. There is evidence that the Greeks and Romans also practiced dentistry, and Hippocrates, one of the more famous physicians of the time, wrote about many of the dental practices of the time. Some even recommended pushing teeth into the preferred position from an early age or even filing them down if the enamel appeared to be too long.
The Birth of Modern Orthodontics
One of the first aligners known was created in the early 1800s, by a man named Pierre Fauchard. It was a strip of metal that was designed to fit around the teeth to realign them. Fauchard was also known for forcefully shoving the teeth into a new position and then tying them down to keep them there, which many may agree is certainly a far cry from the advancements of today.
Many of the more common methods of treating orthodontic issues now actually started barely two hundred years ago, when J.S. Gunnell created the occipital anchorage. This device attached to the jaw from the outside of the mouth to guide the teeth into place. In 1840, Chapin A. Harris wrote the first book on dentistry, which included soldering knobs to help with dental rotation. When Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber, it immediately became an invaluable part of modern dentistry once E.G. Tucker started using it for orthodontics.
These days, it can be easy to simply use a bit of glue to adhere brackets to the teeth, and over the span of a few short years, rearrange your smile into one that can be more comfortable for your lifestyle. Many people agree that it can be much better to have a smile that works with you than against you. If you would like to learn more about modern dentistry, please give us here at Star Orthodontics a call at 361-371-8555 and one of our representatives will be happy to speak with you.