The History of Braces

The History of Braces
Posted on 01/15/2020

Have you ever wondered how people began fixing their teeth? To us, braces have always just been an option and a part of our lives, however, that hasn’t always been the case. People have cared about their teeth and their smile for centuries, and there have been some interesting ways in how those concerns were addressed.

The Earliest Form of Braces

Dating back to ancient times, historians have found bands on mummies’ teeth. These bands are assumed to be the earliest versions of braces!

There is evidence of different types of orthodontic care in ancient times as well, using cords made out of catgut. Catgut is dried intestine and was used not only for fixing smiles, but also for making certain musical instruments.

When Dental Records Began

We didn’t get any written records of dental practice until the early 18th century when Pierre Fauchaud, a French orthodontist, wrote a medical book called “The Surgeon Dentist.” Fauchaud is revered as one of the fathers of modern orthodontics. He created a dental device called the blandeu which expanded the palate of the person who wore it.

The Invention of Modern Braces

Many strides throughout the centuries have brought braces to what they are today, but some of the most notable are:

  • 1819 - The first wire crib was created by Christophe-Francois Delabarre.
  • 1893 - The “Baker anchorage” was created by Henry A. Baker which combined rubber tubing and the wire crib.
  • 1894 - X-rays were incorporated into orthodontic procedures by Eugene S. Talbot.
  • Early 1900s - The word “braces” was first used and the first set of braces are put on with individual wrap bands around each tooth.
  • 1970 - Dental adhesive was created to hold brackets onto teeth.
  • 1997 - Invisalign was invented by Zia Chisti and Kelsey Wirth using 3D printers.

It’s pretty incredible to see how far orthodontic practices have come. Some of these methods make going to the orthodontist seem not so bad! What type of method was the most surprising to you?