Orthodontic problems have been around for a lot longer than most people realize – even Neanderthals displayed evidence of dental irregularities that could have benefited from the knowledge we have now. Here are five fun facts about orthodontics that you probably didn’t know:

Orthodontics has Greek origins

While the practice of orthodontics was actually started by a Frenchman, the word ‘orthodontics’ comes from the Greek word ‘Ortho’ meaning to straighten or correct, while ‘odont’ comes from the Greek word odous, which means tooth.

The first orthodontic appliance

In 1728, Pierre Fauchard, a French dentist, wrote about an orthodontic appliance in his book on dentistry, The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on the Teeth. The bandeau was a horseshoe-shaped piece of metal that was tied to the teeth to help align them.

Golden Braces

Nowadays, orthodontic appliances may be made from different materials including metal, plastic and even ceramics. But, at the beginning of the 1900s, gold was often used as it is malleable – allowing it to be stretched and adjusted. Consequently, patients had to see their orthodontist regularly for adjustments and orthodontic treatment was reserved for the wealthy.

Crooked teeth go way back

Archaeologists have actually found Egyptian mummies with crude metal bands wrapped around their teeth. Even  Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about ‘irregularities’ of teeth around 400 BC.

Orthodontics is a dental specialty

The first ever orthodontist – that is, a qualified dentist who limited their practice to the moving of teeth and aligning jaws – was Edward H. Angle, an American who is often thought of as the father of modern orthodontics. He founded the American Society of Orthodontists and taught in the field in the United States.

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, why not book a consultation with our Specialist Orthodontist Dr Ronan Perry?

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