Interesting Facts About Orthodontics
If you want to get straight teeth while also setting yourself up for better oral health, choosing orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign is the way to go. Plus, choosing an office that specializes in orthodontic correction will be the best way to ensure you know you are getting quality treatment. While you may see orthodontics as the same as dentistry, they are two quite different things. Here are some interesting facts about orthodontics that you may not have known.
People Have Been Trying to Get Straight Teeth for Thousands of Years
While safe, accurate orthodontic treatment is relatively new in human history, people have been trying to figure out how to get straight teeth since ancient times. In fact, Egyptian mummies have been discovered with rough metal appliances around their teeth. In 1728, a French dentist wrote about dental appliances used to try to straighten teeth.
Gold Used to be the Metal of Choice for Braces
In the early 1900s, effective orthodontics was in its infancy, with Edward H. Angle establishing the American Association of Orthodontics and becoming the first person to specialize in straightening jaws and correcting teeth. At this time, gold was the primary material used to correct teeth since it was so bendable. This also meant patients had to see their orthodontists frequently.
The Word “Orthodontics” is Greek in Origin
As with many medical or scientific terms, the word “orthodontics” has its roots in Greek. “Ortho” is the Greek word for straight or correct and “dont” (not to be confused with “don’t”) is the Greek word for tooth. Thus, “orthodontics” translates to “straight teeth.”
All Orthodontists Study Dentistry, But Not all Dentists are Orthodontists
Many people assume orthodontists are just a different type of dentist or that the two practices are the same. However, the education and training required to become an orthodontist is quite a bit more daunting compared to dentistry. First, orthodontists need to finish four years of dental school. Then an additional two or three years of training in orthodontia, including a residency, is required to become an orthodontist. So, while all orthodontists have their dental certification, only about 5% of dentists are licensed orthodontists.
The Material One Part of Braces was Developed by NASA
NASA is credited for developing many innovative materials that have aided in space exploration and have very practical uses in everyday life. One of these is nickel titanium, a specialized metal with a “memory.” When heat is applied, this metal remembers a specific shape and slowly moves to that shape. The arch wires on braces are often made from nickel titanium, and the heat of your mouth causes them to return to their original shape, bringing your teeth with them to a straighter position.
Some Dental Cement Can Strengthen Your Teeth
Many people cringe a little at the idea of having brackets cemented to their teeth. However, the type of bonding material used for braces is completely safe for your teeth and is non-toxic. Beyond that, some dental cement actually helps keep the tooth enamel under the brackets strong by releasing fluoride while you are straightening your teeth.
To learn more about braces and which treatment options could be right for you, contact Crescent Orthodontic Specialists today!