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History of Orthodontics


girl with braces at Robinson Orthodontics You might think that orthodontics only dates back a few generations. That could not be further from the truth. It turns out that orthodontics can be traced back about 50,000 years! Mummies have been found with bands on their teeth, and evidence points to those bands being there to hold the teeth in place. Of course, here at Robinson Orthodontics, our techniques are a lot more modern. We utilize the latest technologies to give you straight teeth and the correct bite. That does not mean that the past is not interesting. We have learned something from each step along the way.

A Brief History of Orthodontics


It is impossible to tell exactly when the first attempts to straighten teeth took place, but the bits and pieces of information that we know are fascinating.

There have been references to Hippocrates mentioning tooth irregularities, and that was about 400 B.C. About 400 years later, the Romans would try to push teeth into the proper position by using their fingers. Around the same time, there are also references to filing teeth to make them the correct size.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, molds were first made of teeth. The molds were first made out of wax, and then they started to make them out of plaster.

In 1728 Pierre Fauchard was born. He is considered to be the "Father of Dentistry." He would use a set of forceps to move a tooth, and then tie it to the teeth around it until it would heal. He also developed the bandeau, which was a curved appliance that would hold the teeth in place to correct the alignment.

In the 1800s much advancement took place. This included a headpiece that attached to the jaw and put pressure on the teeth. Gold caps and bands were used to change a person's bite. The invention of rubber also helped in the progression of orthodontics, because people realized that the material had much potential. Edward Hartley Angle, the "Father of Modern Orthodontics," developed new orthodontic appliances that had more success with straightening teeth.

Moving into the 20th century, early braces were made by wrapping wire or other material around each tooth. Eventually, dental adhesives were invented, and those now attach the brackets to the teeth without having to use the extra wire. With early braces, gold was often the material of choice. That made braces something of a status symbol since only the rich could afford them. By the mid-1970's the main metal for braces had switched to stainless steel, which made them more affordable for all.

Nowadays, there are more choices than ever for braces. Traditional metal braces are common, but Damon braces are growing in popularity. You can wear braces that straighten on the back of your teeth, and you can even have braces that are clear. Here at Robinson Orthodontics, we would like to talk to you about the possibilities that are available to anyone who needs our services. Call (541) 441-8288 for an appointment.

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