Blog Post

History Of Braces
Posted on 01/13/2016

History Of Braces


Many people wearing Niagara Falls or St. Catharines braces do not realize that orthodontic braces have a rich, interesting history. The braces being used today have come a long way as  orthodontic technology has dramatically evolved over the years. Dr. Pershad, our St. Catharines orthodontist uses many different types of braces to help his patients obtain healthy and beautiful smiles. Here is a brief overview of the history of braces we hope you find interesting. 

Early Braces Were Very Primitive 

Archaeologist discovered mummified remains of individuals with primitive metal bands wrapped around their teeth. It is believed that catgut ( or animal intestines) was used to bind these bands together to provide the force needed to move teeth. These remains date back thousands of years to show that having straight teeth has been important for a very long time! 

A French Dentist Is Called the ”Father of Orthodontics”

Pierre Fauchard was a French dentist who is credited with developing the first orthodontic appliance designed to help expand the arch in the mid 1700s. This appliance, which was shaped like a horseshoe, was made to be worn in the mouth to make the dental arch larger. Fauchard helped bring orthodontics out of the dark ages. 

Many Metals Used to Make the First Braces

In the early 1900s, dentists routinely used gold, silver, platinum, steel and sometimes copper, zinc and brass to make braces designed to move teeth. It was common for dentists to use 18-karat gold to make braces during this time as gold was readily available and easy to shape due to it being a soft metal. It wasn't until the 1930s when stainless steel became widely available. But even then, it was not considered a good metal to use for making braces. But in the late 1950s and early 1960s, stainless steel became an accepted metal to use for making braces. 

Modern Adhesives Helped Make Bonded Brackets the Norm 

Before bonded brackets were used, metal bands were wrapped around the teeth to keep them in place. But once improvements were made to adhesives, directly bonding brackets onto the teeth became the norm in the mid 1970s. However, it did take some time for the bonded bracket to catch on. This is why some people may remember wearing the older ”wrap around” metal braces common before the 1970s. 

The World of Modern Braces 

Today, orthodontists use a wide variety of orthodontic appliances to treat patients of all ages including modern metal braces, lingual braces, clear braces and clear aligners. As you can see, braces have a very interesting history, which clearly shows that straightening teeth has been important for a very long time!