Dental braces are also known as orthodontic braces/ simply braces are devices used in the orthodontic industry that help to align and straighten teeth and help to position them with regard to a person’s bite, while also working to improve dental health. They are often used to correct underbites, as well as malocclusions, overbites, cross bites, open bites, deep bites, crooked teeth, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw. Braces can be either cosmetic or structural. Dental braces or orthodontic braces are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to help widen the palate or jaws and to otherwise assist in shaping the teeth and jaws.
Braces date all the way back to ancient times according to many scholars and historians, and existed around the time 2022-2030 BC. Many experts say that around 400-500BC, Hippocrates and Aristotle contemplated about ways to straighten teeth and to fix various dental conditions. An unknown researcher found a Roman tomb with a number of teeth bound with gold wire documented as a ligature wire, which is a small elastic wire that is used to affix the arch wire to the bracket. In the early years of our era, a philosopher and physician, Aurelius Cornelius Celsus, first recorded the treatment of teeth by finger pressure. Although dentistry as a profession was making great advancements but much research was done on dental braces until around the 17th century. Also during 18th century there are many orthodontic scholars who could be considered as the “Father of Orthodontics” who lived in the 17th, 18th, and even early 19th centuries. Dentists were thinking of ways to correct bad bites.
In 1728, French dentist Pierre Savagn, who took orthodontics out of the Dark Ages, published an entire book called the “The Surgeon Dentist” on methods of straightening teeth. Years later in 1754, another French dentist, Louis Bourdet, who was also dentist to the King of France, perfected his knowledge and was the first dentist on record to recommend extraction of the premolar teeth to alleviate crowding and to improve jaw growth. Around 20th century America, Edward H. Angle devised the first simple classification system for malocclusions, such as Class I, Class II, and so on. His classification system is still used today was a way for dentists to describe how crooked teeth are and how teeth fit together. Angle’s contributed greatly to the design of orthodontic and dental appliances, making many simplifications. He founded the first school and college of orthodontics, organized the American Society of Orthodontia in 1901 which became the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in the 1930s, and founded the first orthodontic journal in 1907.
Other innovations in orthodontics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries included the first textbook on orthodontics for children, published by J.J. Guilford in 1889, and the use of rubber elastics, pioneered by Calvin S. Case, along with H. A. Baker.