It may surprise you that braces did exist way longer than you might expect. From the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to the modern design, braces have a remarkable evolutionary story.
The Origin of Braces
We tend to believe we are a highly civilized generation. Also, inventors of great technology, but there are some ideas that existed prior. Braces have been in existence since 1000 BC. Although these braces were not as modern as the ones we use, they served an identical purpose. The ancient Greeks focused on correcting crooked teeth. Their approach involved the use of braces.
Also, archaeological evidence shows that ancient Egyptians were also using braces. The evidence was found on mummy skulls with bands along with their teeth. It is believed that these bands could have been intended to preserve the teeth for life after death. They might not be for correcting crookedness as perceived.
When looking at the materials used to make braces in ancient periods, they were not metal or plastic. The earlier civilizations used a strong fiber that is found in the intestines. It is called catgut.
Braces in the 17th and 18th Century
As humanity continued to become more civilized, they introduced better approaches. In the 1700s, research on dental care commenced. The research became a trigger for modern dental services. By 1800, appliances like rubbing tubing and wire cribs were favorites. Also, dentists began using gum elastics for dental health and aesthetics.
The 18th Century brought the bandeau, which originated in France, took the shape of a horseshoe. It was a metal strip that could cover the upper or lower gum. It had evenly spaced holes that could fit around the teeth. The bandeau worked to adjust tooth alignment and widen the plate. Also, it became possible to perform surgery by tying the teeth together for a period. It forced them to reposition in the desired direction.
Use of Rubber Band and Brackets in the 18th towards the early 19th Century
Another significant development was the introduction of rubber bands and brackets. It was towards the mid-18th Century. Rubber bands were intended to adjust the position of the jaw and bite. Later brackets came into the market, where they were attached to the bands joining the teeth.
The Stainless Steel and Ceramic Braces
The most popular braces were made of stainless steel. These were attached to the front of the teeth running along the jawlines. These braces were used for a long period and may still be in use in some of the countries.
At the moment, you may come across braces options like ceramic braces. These use tooth-colored brackets to fix the crooked teeth. The idea behind the tooth color was to make them appear natural to the patient. It was proposed to reduce the obvious appearance of the stainless-steel braces.
Also, there are braces that fix the back of the teeth. Although they are not that common, they serve a great deal in fixing human teeth.
The Current Generation’s Braces
As braces continued to evolve, we reached a new design. It is the current Invisalign clear aligner. These braces are thought to be expensive, but some users argue that the Invisalign cost is worth it. The Invisalign makes it possible to get the desired results within 12 to 18 months.
Invisalign straightens your teeth, moving them into the proper position. Also, they are less painful. They argue not to compromise the aesthetics of the patient. The Invisalign braces are reliable for any age group.
Some orthodontists still prefer using nickel-titanium wires as braces. These wires can be heat-activated for a gradual application of pressure on your teeth. They are a better development compared to the early wire braces. The early braces required tightening because of stretching.
The modern braces may be comfortable and less painful, but they are yet to be perfect. Despite their minor imperfection, some modern braces can change color as per the preferences of the patient. It might surprise you, but we still use rubber bands for almost the same purpose.
The modern rubber bands are used alongside braces. You can get them in different colors that can be changed whenever you visit your dentist. Some patients may change their braces to fit specific seasons, events, or holidays.
At this point, you are free to decide which braces are best for you as far as your budget allows.