Orthodontics can be a particularly dry topic. However, it has a fascinating history that dates back to the Ancient Egyptians as well as many facts and stats that boggle the mind! Let’s take a look at some of these….
1. The range of treatments available just keeps growing and growing….Once upon a time, orthodontics meant putting up with an uncomfortable metal mouth, complete with annoying brackets and archwires. Today, these metal models have been modernised to be more comfortable – achieved by rendering the brackets smaller, creating more space in your mouth.
2. Other options such as the range of ‘Invisible braces’ available, including Invisalign, lingual braces and six-month-smiles bring flexibility to the table for patients – their lives no longer have to fit around their treatment.
3. Braces can be fashion-friendly. Many young people in Asia are actually considering braces to be a recent trend, with many wearing fake braces merely for aesthetic purposes! It can be a drag trying to inspire children to wear their braces. But the traditional metal braces of today can be accompanied by coloured archwires, which are a great incentive for kids!
4. Braces are suited to people of all ages. Did you know, 1 in 5 patients undergoing treatment are adults – many this is a huge rise from in previous decades.
5. Orthodontics doesn’t involve any unpleasant drilling or needs – so you need worry about any severe pain.
6. Celebrities are loving orthodontics. Some of the celebrities who have embraced orthodontic treatment and braces include singing sensation Zara Larson, Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan. Celebrities are also discovering the benefits of Invisalign – a set of clear, removable and discreet aligners. The likes of Tom Cruise, Eva Longhoria and Nicholas Cage used Invisalign to straightening their teeth (though many journalists did not catch on due to their inconspicuous nature)!
7. The most common commonly treated orthodontic problem is crowding of teeth. Some teeth can be poorly aligned as a result of a patient’s dental arch or teeth being too large or small. If left untreated, the gums and bone that cover the roots of exceptionally crowded teeth can grow thin and begin to recede.
8. Dental impressions originated in the 17th century thanks to Matthaeus Gottfried Purmann, who used wax to carry these out. Later in 1756, Philip Pfaff began to used plaster of Paris. Another pioneer of orthodontics was Pierre Fauchard who invented the ‘bandeau’, an appliance used to correct misaligned teeth. This basic appliance was a U-shaped piece of metal lined with holes for each tooth.
9. Here’s one that is a little confusing…. All orthodontists are dentists, yet only 5% of dentists are orthodontists…. Orthodontists must first train as dentists and then branch off into the specialist field of orthodontics.
10. It takes 7 years to become a qualified orthodontist. As mentioned above, all orthodontists must first possess the arsenal of knowledge and skills it takes to be a dentist. Following this, 2 additional years must be spent building on this to become an orthodontist thus learning about misaligned teeth and jaws.