The history of orthodontics

Did you know that you can trace orthodontic care back to 300 B.C.E. in ancient Greece and Rome? Humans have used orthodontics for their health, confidence, and well-being for thousands of years. Here are just a few fun facts about the vast history of this practice.

Famous philosophers discussed orthodontics

Aristotle and Hippocrates had ideas for teeth straightening back in 400 and 300 B.C.E., and just a few centuries later, a pile of orthodontic tools and an instruction guide were found in a Roman tomb. Additionally, archeologists have uncovered mummies from around this time with metal wires wrapped through or around their teeth.

They had braces in 18th-century France

Well, sort of. Pierre Bauchard, who is considered the father of modern dentistry, invented a device called the bandeau that widened the upper palate and helped straighten teeth. He even wrote a book about methods for straightening teeth, published in 1728.

The term orthodontia was coined in 1841

The term ‘orthodontia’ was coined in 1841 by dentist Joachim Lafoulon. Around the same time, orthodontics became a specialty within dentistry. This was when various rubber bands, metal wires, and elastics began to be adapted into what would soon become modern braces.

Modern orthodontia

The treatments we would now consider ‘modern’ are very recent developments—especially given the long history of orthodontia. Even within the past few decades, there has been much innovation in dentistry and orthodontics. For instance, self-ligating braces were first introduced in the 1930s. Damon Braces, a kind of self-ligating system, were introduced in the 1990s and have since been updated several times for better results and more comfort. Similarly, Invisalign® was invented by two brilliant students at Stanford University in 1997. Today, clear aligners like Invisalign® and Spark are very popular—even though they weren’t an option just 30 years ago.

Visit our friendly team

At Petty & Bielik Orthodontics, we celebrate the history of our specialty and embrace the most advanced technologies and treatments in our field. Orthodontic care has been around for longer than you may have imagined, but what matters is that you get the personalized, advanced care that you deserve.

Schedule a free orthodontic consultation at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Oak Lawn, IL!