Seven Facts about Orthodontics
Orthodontics, the process of straightening teeth, is a fairly popular treatment. It was the first recognized dental specialty within the dental profession and is offered at Edinburg Family Dentistry to give you a beautiful smile. Here are a few more facts about this treatment that you may not know.
- The word “orthodontics” is of Greek origin.
“Ortho” means “straight,” or “correct” while “dont” refers to the teeth.
- People have had crooked teeth for eons.
Crooked teeth have been around basically as long as man has. Archaeologists have discovered Egyptian mummies with metal bands around their teeth. There have been writings throughout history referring to “irregularities” of the teeth (Hippocrates) and about the development of an orthodontic appliance in 1728 (by a French dentist named Pierre Fauchard).
- Orthodontics became the first dental specialty in 1900.
The specialty was founded by Edward H. Angle who was then the first orthodontist – he was the first to limit his practice to only the realigning of teeth and jaws. He established what is now the American Association of Orthodontics.
- Gold was the metal of choice for braces circa 1900.
Gold is malleable, which made it easy for dentists to work with as an orthodontic appliance. However, because it is malleable, it stretches easily; this meant that patients had to make frequent trips to the dentist for adjustments to keep their treatment on track.
- Teeth move in response to pressure over time.
Some pressure on the teeth can be harmful, such as thumb-sucking or abnormal swallowing. However, braces and aligners apply pressure in a very precise way gently and constantly to guide teeth to their new positions.
- Teeth can move because bone breaks down and rebuilds.
The pressure from braces causes cells called “osteoclasts” to break down bone while “osteoblasts” rebuild it. This process is called “bone remodeling” and can be supported by a balanced diet.
- Orthodontic treatment is a professional service.
Although braces themselves are dental appliances, they are simply the tool utilized to perform a job. A successful treatment will depend on the expertise and skill of your orthodontist who will take your individual needs into consideration to customize your treatment. Your participation and commitment will also be important to the success of the treatment – you will have to be diligent about following your orthodontist’s instructions.
Edinburg Family Dentistry is experienced in orthodontic treatment and can provide high-quality care for your family.