As humans, we are born with what we are given. Unlike other creatures such as certain insects, birds, and amphibians that molt their exoskeletons, feathers, and skin regularly, we humans often have to deal with the hand we are dealt with, lookswise. The genes of our parents (and grandparents, great grandparents, ad nauseam) often dictate how we will look. But when it comes to our teeth, it’s our habits that tend to lay the groundwork for dental issues. As children, we may partake in less-than-desirable habits such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and tongue thrusting which can contribute to crooked teeth or jaw issues. Thankfully, there are options out there for those who want to have the perfect smile with shiny, pearly whites. Whether you’re simply looking for a way to fix that misaligned tooth or you need to restore chipped or damaged teeth, Lee Trevino Dental can help.
The Dawn of a New Smile: 18th Century Orthodontics
Although the question of how to straighten teeth dates as far back as ancient times—philosophers such a Hippocrates and Aristotle pondered methods to straighten teeth circa 400 BCE—the true start of orthodontics can be traced back to 18th century Europe when French dentist Pierre Fauchard published “The Surgeon Dentist” in 1728. In this book, the pioneering orthodontist outlined methods to straighten teeth. Fauchard used a horseshoe-shaped arch expansion device named the bandeau that would be placed outside the teeth; a wire was then used to the teeth to the arch. The constant pressure would then pull teeth into the “appropriate” position. You can begin to see how this seemingly primitive method gave way to braces today. Although the bandeau was somewhat successful, it was not adjustable so individual teeth could not be moved in different directions.
Bracing for the Future: 19th Century Orthodontics
About a century after the publication of “The Surgeon Dentist” came another revolutionary step in the world of orthodontics. Christophe-François Delabarre, another French dentist, invented a dental apparatus known as the “wire crib” in 1819. This device looks much more like our modern-day braces than Fauchard’s bandeau. The crib was made of wires that were bent to create a cage that would fit tightly over the patient’s teeth. Tension strings were then attached to the crib. These strings would apply constant pressure on the teeth, moving them slowly but surely into the “correct” positions. One major benefit of the wire cage was the ability for orthodontists to treat single teeth or a group of teeth.
Brackets for a Better Smile: 20th Century Orthodontics
Now we arrive in our modern era. In the 1970s, certain breakthroughs in dental adhesion gave dentists the ability to attach brackets to the teeth, directly. So now instead of having to wrap wires around the teeth, orthodontists were able to glue the brackets to the front or back of the teeth. These brackets could then house the wires that will place pressure on the teeth, adjusting them to the desired position. As you probably assumed, the implementation of dental adhesion and brackets ushered in a new era of orthodontics and this method remained as the top choice for adults and children alike.
A Clear Solution for Crooked Teeth: 21st Century Orthodontics
Nowadays, there’s a clear orthodontics option that eschews the need for dental adhesion and wires. That, of course, is invisible braces. Although the first plastic retainers have their origin in 1997, the true process began in 2000 when Invisalign hit the market at the turn of the century. As you can imagine, these clear options are much more comfortable to wear and result in less damage than brackets. Since invisible braces are removable, you can take them off when it’s time to eat. All in all, clear braces are the most practical option for most patients. One wonders what the next leap in orthodontics will be!
Restore Your Smile with Lee Trevino Dental
The journey from the 18th century’s primitive orthodontics to the modern options we have available today is quite an exciting one to follow. In just a few centuries, we went from horseshoe-shaped arches to clear, basically invisible options to fix our smiles. Imagine what Hippocrates and Aristotle would think if they could see a pair of Invisalign braces! We’re living in an age full of options and opportunities for all. If you’ve lived your entire life wishing your teeth were straighter, then now’s the perfect time to consider orthodontics!
Lee Trevino Dental is ready to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. It’s possible to get the smile you’ve always wanted, all it takes is a bit of work on our side. If you require orthodontic services, then we can provide referrals for orthodontic assistance. We have a plethora of options, from teeth whitening to porcelain veneers. Give our team a call today to learn more about what we have to offer.