Over the years, technology has brought several changes. For example, mobile phones are getting smaller and we now have access to a wide range of information, then self-driving cars.
The same can be said in the area of orthodontics. Orthodontic treatments have evolved over the years, and gone are those days when we only had the option of metal braces for patients with misaligned or crooked teeth. Several discrete and more comfortable options like Invisalign braces are now available.
Below are a few ways braces have changed over the years.
The first braces
Research has discovered the traces of braces used in ancient Egypt. People in those times, corrected their teeth deformities using a cord made from dried animal skin. Archaeologists also discovered evidence that people in that time used retainers that slowly applied pressure to their teeth to keep them in the right positions.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus, an ancient Roman, is the father of braces. He wrote down several attempts to straighten his teeth using different methods like a woven gold wire placed on his teeth.
Until the late 1700s, not much happened in orthodontics, and then, the French began to take dentistry to the next level. The French made mouth guards which applied pressure to the teeth at strategic areas to straighten them. The concept of removing the wisdom teeth to prevent crowded teeth also began with the French people.
In 1819, a French man called Christophe-Francois Delabarre officially made the braces, widely known today. He did this by making a woven wire placed on both the upper and lower teeth for a long period to straighten them.
In the 20th century, new orthodontic tools and techniques evolved for teeth straightening. These orthodontic devices did not have a proper bonding agent, so they wrapped the wire around each tooth, and this made the sharp edges of the wire uncomfortable for people. The braces were also not aesthetic because they left the mouth with several metal wires. They were also quite expensive because only gold wires were available, so only the rich could afford them.
Breakthrough in braces
In the 1970s, a lot of technological breakthroughs happened. This also affected the area of orthodontics. The advancement brought new dental bonding agents, stainless steel braces, and the new teeth straightening techniques we know today.
During this period, orthodontists discovered the best parts as braces allowed faster teeth movement, shorter wear time and less pain. Alternative metals for braces became available, which were more affordable for people with average income. More people began to invest in braces to achieve straighter teeth.
Modern Invisible braces
More teeth straightening options are now available, unlike when anyone who wanted straighter teeth had to use the bulky metal braces. You currently have the option of invisible braces such as Invisalign. These new braces are removable, so you can take them out to eat and clean your teeth, and fit the natural teeth. For most people, invisible braces are convenient, so a better option for their busy lives.
Slim-Line metal braces
Invisible braces are effective, but they may not be suitable for certain orthodontic issues. Metal braces are the best treatment option for people with certain misalignments. You do not need to worry about the comfort of your treatment if your misalignment requires metal braces for the best result because the modern braces are smaller and less noticeable than what they were 20 years ago.
The metal part of the braces which the orthodontist cements to the teeth is now slimmer, and you can opt for clear bands around the metals, so the braces blend more with your natural teeth. You can also opt for bands with different colours to add a pop of colour to your braces. The edges of the present braces are now smoother than they were in the past, so there is a reduced risk of gum injuries and discomfort.
Next step in orthodontics
Over the past few years, the changes in orthodontics have been amazing, and braces now have little interference with everyday activities. In the future, we believe that invisible braces would become more comfortable and thinner than what we have presently.
Some experts believe that braces may no longer be a preferred option for straightening the teeth because new and faster teeth straightening options that use computerised technology would become available.
If you have crooked teeth or malocclusion and wonder if you can get braces, consult your orthodontist. The orthodontist will assess your teeth and bite to determine if you are suitable for braces treatment and which type of braces will be best for you.
Although most people prefer Invisalign invisible braces, metal braces remain the best treatment for certain orthodontic issues. Morden braces are now affordable, and most orthodontists offer flexible financing options to make the treatment more affordable for most people.