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A Brief History of Orthodontics

Have you ever wondered who was responsible for starting the field of orthodontics? The study of orthodontics has been around for a long time but the practice has evolved over the years. In general, orthodontics can be broadly defined as the process by which teeth are straightened within the mouth using certain devices. These devices can include braces, aligners, expanders, and retainers. Orthodontics attempts to correct a variety of issues with the teeth and jaw, including underbites, overbites, and crossbites, and crowding and spacing issues.

Many people believe orthodontics didn’t begin until the 20th century, but this is not true.

How Orthodontics Began

Although various orthodontic practices have been reported as far back as ancient Egypt, the field of orthodontics as we know it today began in the 18th century in France. Pierre Fauchard published a book called, “The Surgeon’s Dentist,” which discussed the various options for straightening teeth. Fauchard started out with a piece of iron shaped like a horseshoe that was designed to expand the palate.

Wires were introduced into the field in 1819, and then elastics in 1843. From there, the field of orthodontics began to evolve to include some of the same treatment methods that are utilized across the globe today.

The Evolution of Orthodontics

Bite classes were first introduced by Edward Angle in the 20th century and are still in use by modern orthodontists to classify the different malocclusions in patients. Bite classes aid orthodontists in designing the right treatment plan for each patient.

Angle founded the first school focused on the study of orthodontics in 1901. Angle’s school later became The American Association of Orthodontics. The field of orthodontics has continued to evolve with the introduction of newer treatment options, such as the clear aligners that are used for Invisalign treatment.

The Future of Orthodontics

The future is bright for the field of orthodontics! New and improved treatment methods and products are being developed to help patients of all ages with all kinds of orthodontic issues. All of this has resulted in orthodontic treatment becoming more accessible so that more people are able to achieve healthier, more desirable smiles.

Let the experts at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists help you get a spectacular smile! Call (843) 4-BRACES to get started!

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