09/12/2019

The ancient history of dental braces

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Whilst dental braces are a common feature on the teeth of many millennials, the history of the orthodontic practice is much older than you might think.

Where modern-day practices often use a combination of appliances and devices to assist in the realignment and straightening of an individual bite, historians and scholars believe the practice could amazingly date back to around 400-300 BC.

Both Hippocrates and Aristotle recorded their thoughts on how to fix various dental issues, whilst the roman philosopher and physician Aulus Cornelius Celsus detailed the treatment of misaligned teeth by applying pressure with the fingers, the Etruscan people were known for placing dental devices to the teeth of their dead to stop the collapse of their dental palette in the afterlife. Archaeological discoveries have also uncovered tombs containing bodies with metal bands and cat intestines wrapped around their teeth!

Despite these early innovations, it was not until the 18th and 19th centuries that orthodontics really began to develop as a field in its own right. Many sources credit the invention of modern orthodontics to Frenchman Pierre Fauchard who published ‘The Surgeon Dentist’ in 1728. In the book, he details the use of an iron horseshoe-shaped device called a ‘bandeau’ used to expand the pallet and straighten the user’s teeth.

Interested in learning more about how advancements in dentistry can change lives?

Why not check out the BA and postgraduate courses we offer in Dental Technology, available for both full and part-time study.

For more information on our entry requirements and facilities, click here.

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Bolton college
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