If you're considering getting braces or are already wearing them, there are a few things you should know about straightening your teeth. Orthodontic treatment consists of more than just wires, brackets, and elastics. There are numerous fascinating orthodontic facts to learn, such as why tooth straightening is now easier than ever. Read on for some of the most fascinating facts about teeth straightening you should be aware of.
1. Wires used in braces were originally created by NASA
You may be aware that wires in certain braces contain nickel titanium. In fact, NASA developed this alloy with the purpose of employing it in the space program. These small, incredibly elastic, and flexible wires used in orthodontic equipment are activated by body heat and can retain their shape after being bent and bonded to the teeth.
2. First braces were created almost three centuries ago
The first documented braces were created in 1728 by Pierre Fauchard, commonly regarded as the Father of Dentistry. These braces were made of flat metal that was threaded onto the teeth. Later, in the 20th century, as humanity gained a better understanding of malocclusion, dentist Edward Angle created more sophisticated and contemporary orthodontic tools, including brackets.
3. All orthodontists are dental specialists
Only around 6% of dentists are orthodontists, yet all orthodontists are dentists. An orthodontist is a dental specialist focused on the prevention and treatment of dental abnormalities, such as an incorrect bite. It's essential to finish an additional two to three years of study from a recognized orthodontic residency program after graduating from dentistry school to become an orthodontist.
4. Some of the first attempts to straighten teeth have been found in Ancient Egypt
Despite the fact that braces weren't invented until the early 18th century, people have always yearned for a healthy and aesthetically pleasing smile. Archaeologists think that the use of animal intestine cords, which resemble the wire seen in modern braces, to wrap around the teeth of several mummies was one of the first attempts to straighten teeth in ancient times.
5. It’s essential to wear retainers afterward
Your commitment to wearing a retainer after completing the treatment will dictate how well your results will hold up over time. Unfortunately, over 25% of individuals who have worn braces must undergo the procedure once again due to not using their retainers as they should have. Their teeth often return to their natural, misaligned positions as a result. Hence, wearing your retainer is essential to keep your teeth straight and attractive.
6. Braces have no age restrictions
Think again if you believe that the best time for getting braces is your teenage years and you're no longer eligible for orthodontic treatment as an adult. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists reports that a majority of those wearing braces are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, and around one in five orthodontic patients are adults. This implies that orthodontic treatment can benefit everyone, including children, their parents, and even grandparents.
7. Millions of Americans are undergoing orthodontic treatment right now
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 4 million Americans are now using braces or another type of orthodontic appliance to correct their teeth. Additionally, 75% percent of individuals undergoing treatment are under the age of 18.
8. There are plenty of myths surrounding braces
It's safe to say that a great deal of the myths you have heard about braces are untrue. You should be aware that metal detectors won't detect braces, braces cannot be locked when kissing, and they do not interfere with radio signals. Braces won't make you more likely to get struck by lightning. Also, while wearing braces, you may still perform musically and take part in athletic activities safely and productively.