Braces; an orthodontic device of the ages

Braces; an orthodontic device of the ages

Benefit from over 100 years of history

Here at AAA Orthodontics in Albany Creek, we believe that braces are the most effective and time efficient method for straightening smiles. Braces are also the most tried and tested orthodontic treatment available today.

Traditional braces have a long history of success. While orthodontics in the traditional sense really began to develop in the mid-19th century, the early presence of this tooth straightening treatment can be traced back to ancient times. Braces have been optimised over many years to provide the best orthodontic results possible. Now we can offer our patients the tried and tested technology of traditional braces, however, this orthodontic device is now much smaller, more comfortable and significantly more subtle in appearance.

The ancient contemplation of a beautifully straight smile

Between 400 and 300 BC it has been said that both Hippocrates and Aristotle had both pondered the way in which teeth could be straightened. Across a number of different cultural sites mummified civilians from these ancient times have also been found wearing what appears to be the early makings of an orthodontic device. These ancient mummified people were found with their teeth wrapped in what archeologists believe to be metal bands.

Many wearing todays advanced modern braces can find a new found appreciation for their metal braces, as in ancient time catgut was also said to be used to straightened teeth. Catgut is a cord like material created form animal intestines. The Etruscans, an ancient Italian civilization, we also extremely interested with altering their smiles. Bodies of these ancient people were buried with appliances that are believed to have been put in place to create and preserve space in the smile, as well as prevent the deterioration and collapse of the teeth structure after death.

The beginnings of a modern day resemblance 

egypt mummy2

A Roman tomb located in Egypt signified a significant movement towards modern day braces. Within the tomb an ancient body was found with a gold metal wire bound around the teeth. In addition to the physical evidence, there were also a number of scholarly references. Roman physician and philosopher Aulus Cornelius Celsus had recorded attempts to straighten tissue via pressure exerted from the finger. While the findings are both limited and considerably ambiguous up until the 17th century, there was also an increased interest in dental treatments in medieval times.

French advancements

In 1728 Pierre Fauchard, a French dentist, published his scientific book ‘The Surgeon Dentist’ in which he discussed he variety of dental topics. Within this book he dedicated an entire chapter to the mechanics of straightening teeth. A primary device that Fauchard was applying to his patients was known as the ‘Bandeau’. This dental device was shaped in the manner of a horseshoe, forged from precious metals, which helped to create room in the dental arch. Later in 1757 fellow Frenchmen Ettienne Bourdet served the King of France as his dentist. He went on to write a book himself, titled ‘The Dentist’s Art’ which also discussed the beginning of orthodontic devices. Bourdet mad e a number of significant discovery’s within the dental realm.

The fathers of orthodontics

There is much debate between historians regarding the origin of the braces and orthodontic work that resembles much of what we have today. There were a number of historical figures that greatly contributed to the developments of orthodontic work between the 1800s – 1900s. Early in the 1900s the first classification system ranking malocclusions was created in America by Edward H. Angle.

In fact, Angle’s system of classifying malocclusions in terms of their degree of severity is still used today here at AAA Orthodontics! Angle founded an orthodontic school and the American Society of Orthodontia, which later became the American Association of Orthodontists which is still at the forefront of modern orthodontics. With these developments, orthodontics as a specification and emerging industry really began to develop.

A mouth full of bling

As the 1900s progressed, orthodontists were using a number of precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum and even occasionally ivory. Most elements of the original braces, including wires and clasps, were made with fourteen and eighteen carat gold. Much like what has recently trended in our modern culture, including the popularity of chunky gold and diamond ‘grills’, draws distinct parallels to early braces. Despite the progressions in orthodontics, gold as a metal is soft and these early gold braces required a lot more maintenance and readjusting then their modern metal counterparts. These braces wrapped about the teeth and preceded the development of the orthodontic bracket.

Flower power and orthodontic transformations

In the 1970s the way in which braces were both placed by orthodontists and worn by patients began to vastly change. The banding of metal around the teeth became a thing of the past and bonding dental brackets came widely into practice. In the late 1970s self-ligating braces were developed, making orthodontic devices more comfortable and more efficient.

History’s most comfortable, efficient and subtle braces

The AAA Orthodontics traditional metal braces and the braces used widely today across orthodontics have now been optimised since the 1970s to become the most comfortable and effective braces yet. Throughout the last forty odd years there have been many orthodontic developments that have improved the results of braces and also decreased the treatment time. The brackets of our braces are dramatically smaller and more subtle in appearance, as well providing an increased efficiency which means you can wear your braces for a shorter period of time.

Correct your smile in secret 


The progressions in orthodontic treatments have also allowed our team at AAA Orthodontics in Albany Creek to offer Incognito™ braces. Incognito™ lingual braces are bonded to the inside of your teeth, meaning you can straighten your smile with no visible indication that you are receiving orthodontic treatment. With minimal discomfort and fewer orthodontic appointments, Incognito can be an excellent treatment for straightening crooked smiles. For traditional braces with a cosmetic edge, we offer ceramic clear braces which bond to the front of your teeth with clear brackets. We also offer Insignia braces, which are computer designed braces that are tailor made to suit your smile.

If you would like to learn more about how braces can transform your smile, or if you would like to book an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us on (07) 3325 0255. 

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