Braces have an unfair reputation; despite being perhaps the most effective orthodontic treatment around, when most of us think about them, we think about the awkward, embarrassing metal brackets and wires that are permanently worn for the entire duration of treatment—not the beautiful results that we’re working towards! That said, it’s not always easy to give braces the credit they’re rightfully due. Here are a few interesting, little-known facts about braces that your dentist wants you to know about so that you can better appreciate them!
1. Braces Are Older Than You Think
Braces are by no means a modern invention—although they’ve seen quite a few changes over the many centuries they’ve existed, they’ve been around in some iteration since the time of the Ancient Egyptians. An early version utilized cords from dried sheep and horse intestines tied around metal posts that were placed in mouths; fast forward to 18th century France, and you’ll find pieces of horseshoe-shaped iron called “bandeaus” being used to expand palates. Thankfully, the field of dentistry has come a long way since then, and we now have specialized modern braces.
2. Modern Braces Wouldn’t Exist without the Help of NASA
Modern braces actually wouldn’t exist in their current state without the help of NASA—but what does space travel have to do with orthodontics? Believe it or not, there’s a cool overlap in the materials used by both orthodontists and astronauts. Modern braces are often made from a nickel-titanium material that was originally designed for NASA’s space program; the wire is designed with shape memory properties that are activated by body heat or pressure, and the alloy itself is nonmagnetic and totally safe.
3. They Aren’t Just for Children and Teenagers
Did you know that around 4 million Americans currently have braces, and about one million of those patients are over the age of 18? Braces are absolutely not limited to just younger patients; in fact, there’s no upper age limit for braces at all, as dental misalignment can occur (and be treated) at any point throughout life.
4. Every Orthodontist Is Also a Dentist
All aspiring orthodontists must first attend dental school, meaning that even though they’ve chosen to specialize in orthodontics, they’re still a dentist at their very core and have all of the same knowledge and insights. Following dental school, candidates must complete a rigorous 3-year program that continues their education in the field of orthodontics. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, about 6% of all dentists in the US are also orthodontists.
5. They Do So Much More Than Straighten Teeth
Although their primary purpose is dental realignment, braces can be used to address a wide scope of orthodontic issues. They can effectively correct bite issues such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites, they can assist with TMJ-related disorders like bruxism, and they can even help with eating, breathing, and speech issues.
About the Practice
The talented team at Sachse Family Dentistry at Woodbridge is excited to offer patients and families in the Sachse, TX community an unmatched level of dental care! Under the leadership of Dr. Travis Rottman, the practice is thrilled to offer a wide range of treatment options including orthodontic services for those who desire straighter and healthier smiles. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to schedule a visit for you or someone you know, feel free to contact Dr. Rottman online or by phone for additional assistance: (972) 848-0073.