Posted on January 15, 2019
The profession of orthodontics seems to be one that is self-explanatory, and one that you think you may know everything about. These are some fun facts that may surprise you and teach you something that you do not know about orthodontics! For starters, one thing you may not know about orthodontics is that it is the first recognized specialty within dentistry! Read on to learn more fun facts about orthodontics.
The beginning of the word, “ortho,” holds the meaning of straight or correct. The second part of the word, “dont,” holds the meaning of tooth or teeth. When the two words are put together, they translate into “straight teeth.”
To build off of the fact mentioned earlier, orthodontics was founded by Edward H. Angle in the year 1900. He was the first orthodontist that limited his dental practice to only orthodontics, focusing on moving teeth and helping to align patients’ jaws. He also was the person that established what is now known as the American Association of Orthodontists.
Gold is known to be an easily moldable metal, which is why it was the main metal choice in 1900 when orthodontics was first introduced. Since gold is easily stretched as well, patients often had to go back to their orthodontist to get their gold braces adjusted.
The main way that teeth are moved is by pressure, but there can be positive types of pressure and negative. For example, thumb-sucking or abnormal chewing can push the teeth in an undesired direction or out of their place. Positive types of pressure would be appliances like braces or aligners that gently move teeth into their correct spot. Aside from pressure, the reason that teeth move is because of a cell called an osteoclast. These osteoclasts break down the bone and help in the process of moving them, after this the osteoblasts help to rebuild the bone.
A common fear that brace wearers have is that once the metal brackets are glued to their teeth, they will be unable to clean the surface that is now covered. Luckily, the cement that is used to adhere the brackets onto the teeth actually contains fluoride that is released into the tooth. This ensures the health of your teeth while you are wearing braces, and reveals healthy teeth even after the brackets are removed!
Many people think that braces are a newer invention that has not been around for very long, but it is actually quite the opposite! The very first version of braces was made from a simple piece of metal and thread in 1728. That was almost fifty years before the American Revolution even occurred. Although the technology of braces is ever improving, the original purpose was always to align crooked teeth.
We hope you enjoyed these fun facts! Use them to impress your friends with braces, or start some interesting conversations at your next family dinner!