You and your child have just been told they’ll need orthodontic treatment. One way to get them to take an active role in their orthodontic health is to share an interest in the topic. In this post, our Langley dentists share a few fun facts about orthodontics to explore with your kids!
1. Orthodontics became a dental specialty in 1900.
Edward H. Angle was the first orthodontist; the first member of the dental profession to focus his practice exclusively on orthodontics - moving teeth and aligning jaws.
2. The word “orthodontics” originated in Greece.
“Ortho” means straight or correct, while “dont” (not to be confused with “don’t”), means tooth. Combined, “orthodontics” means straight teeth.
3. NASA created the original wires used for braces.
Some of the wiring used for braces contains nickel titanium, which NASA originally developed for use in the space program. These thin, highly flexible elastic wires are now used in orthodontic appliances. Activated by body heat, they can maintain their shape after being bent and attached to teeth.
4. The desire for straighter teeth can be traced back to ancient Egyptians.
People have longed for straight, healthy smiles for thousands of years. While braces weren’t designed until the early 18th century, many mummies have been discovered with chords made of animal intestines wrapped around their teeth. Archaeologists believe this was an attempt at straightening crooked teeth and that this early iteration would be similar to current braces wiring.
5. Early braces were made of gold, a fairly flexible, soft metal.
This material can be easily stretched to set a desired path for a tooth.
6. Some myths about braces have endured the test of time.
Since more advanced methods are now used to make braces, you don’t have to worry about braces increasing yoru risk of being struck by lighting. They don’t set off metal detectors or attract other metal objects. They also do not pick up radio signals and you can’t lock braces while kissing.