We could talk about orthodontics for hours, and we think it’s a fascinating field. It has a long history, and there are many facts about orthodontics that aren’t common knowledge. Thus, here’s 5 fun facts about dental braces from an experienced Los Angeles Orthodontist, Dr. Hakim.
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The History of Modern Braces Goes Way Back
Braces are almost 300 years old. Pierre Fauchard, a French physician, created the first braces in 1728, and he’s often given credit for inventing modern orthodontics. Fauchard used a “Bandeau,” a horseshoe-shaped piece of iron that helped expand the palate. He published a book called “The Surgeon Dentist” which included his methods for straightening teeth.
Modern Braces are Made Possible Thanks to NASA
NASA developed the alloy that is used in metal braces. It was originally intended to be used as a heat resistant material on space shuttles, but since it can maintain its shape when bent, it’s perfect for making flexible wires that can be attached to teeth. In addition, this alloy helps decrease discomfort associated with braces.
Also, NASA created transparent polycrystalline alumina, the material used to make invisible braces. It was initially made to help track missiles, but it’s perfect for invisible braces because it’s transparent, has smooth and round properties, and it’s stronger than steel.
Braces are Used for More Than Just Straightening Teeth
One of the most common reasons people get braces is to straighten their teeth. However, they’re also used to fix irregular bites. Hence, they can be used to treat health problems like difficulty chewing or swallowing, breathing issues, or speech problems.
In Dr. Hakim’s more than 30 years of orthodontics experience, he has helped many patients correct their bites and live a healthier life. If you’re experiencing any of these health problems, it’s important that you contact us, so we can diagnose and treat any problems with your bite.
Egyptians Tried Making Braces to Correct Their Smile
In a far cry from modern braces, Egyptians made cords from dried sheep and horse intestines and tied them around metal posts in the teeth in an attempt to straighten smiles. Most of these braces were placed on mummies to help keep their teeth intact for the afterlife, and if this sounds less than ideal, you can thank the people behind modern orthodontics for coming up with much better alternatives.
Every Orthodontist is also a Dentist
Every orthodontist is a dentist, but not every dentist is an orthodontist. Aspiring orthodontists must first complete dental school, and after they finish dental school, they’ll spend 2 to 3 years in a postgraduate orthodontics program. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, only 6% of American dentists are also orthodontists.
Braces Aren’t just for Teens and Pre-Teens
The AAO reports that about four million Americans have braces, and about one million of those people are over the age of 18. It’s never too late to get your dream smile, and if you’re unhappy with your current smile, we can help you gain a smile that you’re proud to show off.
Dr. Hakim is a highly experienced Los Angeles orthodontist who is well versed in dental braces and so much more. If you’d like to take the first step toward your ideal smile, please give us a call.