Fun Facts about Ortho: Ancient Orthodontics

Fun Fact Ancient Ortho

Did you know…

Orthodontics has been around for thousands of years!

It's hard to believe, but braces have been around since ancient times. While our ancestors may not have used braces that look as sleek as ours today, you can bet that somewhere along the line, some poor Grecian kid got called “brace face.” How do you say that in Greek?

Historians think that the earliest braces were made of base metals and catgut, a type of natural fiber, dating back to around 2000 B.C. Archaeologists have discovered mummified remains in various Italian locations that have metal bands wrapped around the teeth. A Roman tomb was also discovered in which the teeth were bound with gold wire, including documentation on the wire’s use as a dental device. Sounds comfortable, doesn’t it?

The first braces were developed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728. Fauchard's braces consisted of a flat strip of metal which was connected to teeth by pieces of thread. Imagine having to floss around that!

More modern orthodontic brackets were invented by Edward Angle in 1915. The brackets consisted of little hooks of metal, which were attached to bands which went around your teeth. In 1928, he modified the design, producing the edgewise bracket, and braces as we know them today were born!