woman smiling with braces

Five Fun Facts About Orthodontics

When you step into your orthodontist’s office, do you ever wonder about the origins of certain things? 

Maybe you’ve asked yourself about whether or not people struggled with crooked teeth before the 21st century. 

Perhaps, you’ve pondered when metal braces started becoming a thing. 

You may have even thought about where the word “orthodontics” came from? 

We’re answering these questions and more. 

Read on to learn some fun facts about the world of orthodontics. Let’s dive in.

The Word “Orthodontics” Comes from the Greek Language

No. This isn’t a scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding 

The word “orthodontics” actually does have its roots in Greek. It combines “orthos,” meaning correct or straight, with “odontos,” meaning tooth. 

This etymology gives you a sense of what orthodontics is all about. More specifically, orthodontics ensures proper alignment and positioning of teeth. 

From its ancient Greek origins to contemporary practice, orthodontics remains dedicated to fostering dental health by correcting misalignments and irregularities, ultimately striving to create healthier, straighter smiles.

People Have Had Crooked Teeth for Much of Human History

If you struggle with a misaligned tooth or two, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in good company since it’s a problem that has been around for most of human history. 

Crooked and crowded teeth have been a part of history since ancient times, dating back to the era of Neanderthals. Evidence from archaeologists reveals the use of metal bands wrapped around the teeth of Egyptian mummies. Even Hippocrates who was around in 400 BCE discussed dental “irregularities.” By irregularities, he was referring to misaligned teeth and jaws. 

So, the next time you come in for clear or metal braces, know that you’re getting a dental solution that your ancestors didn’t have access to. 

Speaking of braces, that brings us to the next fun fact.

The Earliest Braces Came Out in the 1700s

Braces may seem like a recent innovation. However, they’ve actually been around for more than five centuries. 

In fact, some of the earliest records of braces date back to the early 1700s. In 1728, French dentist, Pierre Fauchard, introduced an early orthodontic appliance in his seminal work, “The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on the Teeth.” 

It was a horseshoe-shaped piece of precious metal used to align teeth, representing an early step towards modern orthodontic techniques.

Teeth Move with Pressure

If you struggle with misaligned teeth, it may be due to long-term pressure. 

Teeth have the remarkable ability to shift in response to pressure over time. While certain types of pressure can be beneficial, such as that applied by orthodontic appliances, others can be harmful. Actions like thumb-sucking or abnormal swallowing can exert damaging pressure, leading to teeth being pushed out of place and distortion of the underlying bone structure. 

As your trusted orthodontists, the team at Bay Area Orthodontics leverages this understanding by utilizing appliances like braces or aligners to apply constant gentle pressure on teeth. 

By carefully managing pressure, we help you or your child achieve not only a straighter smile but also optimal dental health and function.

80% of Teens in the U.S. Use Braces

If your teen is self-conscious about braces or aligners, here’s a fun fact: 

Based on statistics by the American Association of Orthodontists, at least 80% of teens in the country are using orthodontic treatments of some kind. These treatments include everything from aligners to braces. 

So, when your kids tell you that they feel awkward about their new orthodontic treatments (whatever they are), show them this statistic and tell them that they’re in good company. 

Bay Area Orthodontics: Fun Facts and Orthodontics That Lead to Brighter Smiles 

Orthodontic care has come a long way, giving you and your kids brighter and healthier smiles. If you need a local Bay Area orthodontist for anything from braces to aligners, we’re just a call away. 

At Bay Area Orthodontics, we commit to providing top-notch orthodontic care tailored to each individual’s needs. Whether you’re a teenager embarking on your orthodontic adventure or a parent seeking the perfect smile for yourself, our experienced team is here to guide you every step of the way. 

Schedule your appointment with Bay Area Orthodontics today and join the countless others who are enjoying the confidence of a straighter and healthier smile. 

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