1. Orthodontics did not become a separate science until the late 1800s, but the groundwork for this science all started in the year 1728. This was the year that the Surgeon Dentist was published, a book written by a man named Pierre Fauchard which contained an entire chapter on different methods which could be used to straighten out teeth.
2. One of the first books to mention using appliances for tooth straightening was published in the year 1957. The author was a dentist from France named Bourdet, and the book not only included a chapter on straightening teeth but it also addressed using appliances in the mouth for this purpose. This book became an important reference for dentists of this time period. It is considered one of the first definitive dental books to address this problem and detail possible solutions.
3. The first evidence of appliances for orthodontics dates back to 1000 BC. Appliances used to straighten teeth have been found that were created using materials from civilizations that existed hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Greek appliances have been found with other historical artifacts, and this is also true with devices made from Etruscan materials.
4. The very fist dentist to specialize only in correcting and straightening teeth was Edward Angle. He created the very first classification system for dental malocclusions which was simple to use and very accurate. Dr. Angle went on to open up a school devoted to training dentists in this specialty in the year 1901. The system he devised allowed dentists to chart which teeth needed treatment, how each tooth was situated, and how well all of the teeth related to each other.
5. JN Farrar was a dentist who excelled at designing appliances for orthodontics, and he was the first dentist to advocate using light force at specified time periods to cause teeth to straighten up and shift position. Farrar wrote a treatise on the correction of dental irregularities which covered two volumes, and is still well known today.
6. Rubber has played a role in dentistry and tooth straightening since the 18th century. The rubber dam, which is still commonly used in dental practices today, was invented in the year 1864, by a dentist named Dr. SC Barnum who was a native of New York. The use of rubber elastics combined with appliances was invented by Calvin S. Case, and this innovation changed the way that braces were used in treatment.
7. Until the not too distant past orthodontics meant visible appliances and many visits to the dentist for adjustments to be made, but that has all changed thanks to the Invisalign braces system. This system uses a number of braces in a series, and each brace tray is used for roughly two weeks. These braces gently correct any defects over time and usually involve only a few visits to the dentist. Invisalign braces are clear and not noticeable, and these appliances can be removed for eating and teeth cleaning so there is a smaller risk of decay caused by the appliances.