If you suffer from crooked or misaligned teeth, you may feel embarrassed posing for pictures and smiling with your mouth open. While very few people are lucky enough to be born with perfect teeth, orthodontic treatments can make a very big difference in the appearance of your smile and your overall confidence. Most dental professionals recommend braces for treating issues like crooked or crowded teeth, overbites and underbites, and jaw disorders. In this article, we’ll discuss the unique history of braces and their unique journey to where they are today.

If you’re looking for an experienced dental facility in Washington, D.C., schedule an appointment with the experts at Soft Touch Dentists today. We’ve helped hundreds of adults and children correct their smiles through our innovative orthodontic treatments and we would love to do the same for you.

The History of Orthodontics & Braces

Traditional braces have come a long way since their inception. According to the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, archaeologists have discovered crooked teeth in human remains that date back to more than 50,000 years ago. In fact, these archaeologists found something very similar to today’s traditional braces in Egyptian mummies. Many mummies that have been discovered were found to have crude metal bands around their teeth, which many believe may have been used to help shift and move teeth around.

The first recorded attempt at strengthening teeth was performed by the ancient Romans. A Roman encyclopedist by the name of Aulus Cornelius Celsus was found to have kept intricate diaries about his medical and dental research. It is noted that Celsus attempted to straighten teeth through the brute force of his own hand, applying pressure at certain points to encourage teeth to move and shift. It wasn’t until later on that Celsus’ Roman peers created a dental hardware that mimicked today’s traditional braces. The Romans used small golden wires that they would attach to teeth in an attempt to close gaps.

Between 1728 and 1757, two important books about dentistry were written by two men, Pierre Fauchard and Pierre Bourdet. Fauchard was a forward thinking dentist at the time, and he wrote a section of his book, titled “Surgeon Dentist,” about the various ways to straighten teeth. He is mostly known for discovering a device known as a “bandeu,” which was similar to a mouth guard. In 1957, Bourdet wrote his own book that expanded on the original topic of Fauchard’s. He made the important discovery that rear wisdom teeth could be removed to avoid overcrowding in the mouth. His book was titled, “The Dentist’s Art,” and it became an important part of dental history.

While it wasn’t until the 1900’s that the term “braces” became widely used, the first modern braces for teeth were created in 1819 by a man named Christophe-Francois Delabarre. These braces featured a wire ‘crib’ that was placed directly over both sets of teeth in the hopes of keeping them straight. In 1843, Dr. Edward Maynard added elastics to the invention to improve jaw alignment in his patients. Braces continued to change radically throughout the course of history until they evolved into the different options we have today.

Dentists & Orthodontists in Washington, D.C.

At Soft Touch Dentists in Washington, D.C., we’re proud to be a leading provider of dental and orthodontic services. If you think you or a loved one could benefit from braces, contact our professional staff today. We offer a variety of innovative teeth-straightening procedures to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our dental services!