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January 2019

The History of Orthodontics

Setting the Record Straight: The History of Orthodontics

By Blog, Orthodontics

Straight teeth aren’t a recent cosmetic wish – symmetrical, even smiles have always been desirable. History shows us that even thousands of years ago, people were attempting to align teeth with some rather surprising methods. We’re looking back at the history of orthodontic treatment from ancient times until now, to learn how modern orthodontics came to be.

If you desire a straighter, more beautiful smile, Markham Orthodontics can help! Dr. David Markham and Dr. Steven Scott offer orthodontic treatments for every age and lifestyle, to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. For braces, retainers, mouth guards or Invisalign treatment in the greater Sacramento, CA area, contact our practice — with three convenient locations to better serve you!

Ancient Evidence

The early Egyptians were some of the first people who created early orthodontic instruments to align crooked teeth. Egyptian mummies have been found with metal pieces around their teeth, which researchers believe may have been connected to cords for the purpose of straightening misaligned teeth.

Ancient Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans employed similar tactics. Ancient Etruscan remains have shown gold bands around preserved bodies, that was thought to have maintained their teeth alignment after death. Famous philosophers Aristotle and Hippocrates even wrote about different tactics for correcting teeth alignment issues.

The 18th Century

With the 18th century came a new wave of enlightenment and research into many medical fields. A French physician named Pierre Fauchard, who is often called the Father of Dentistry, researched and wrote extensively on different methods for straightening teeth. In addition, he created a dental appliance known as a bandeau. Essentially an early retainer, this semi-circular metal device was developed to fit around teeth and apply steady pressure to misaligned teeth. Fauchard also experimented with early oral surgery, and would use forceps to move misaligned teeth forcefully into place before tying them to surrounding teeth during the healing process.

American Orthodontic History and Modern Techniques

The History of OrthodonticsIn the 19th century, early American orthodontic treatment began. J. S. Gunnell is credited with the creation of the occipital anchorage, a dental appliance designed to be worn outside of the mouth. This device is similar to modern orthodontic headgear. Vulcanized rubber was created by Charles Goodyear in 1839; after a process of vulcanizing rubber by adding additional chemicals, rubber became more flexible, durable, and resistant to wear. This new, more pliable material helped to advance many orthodontic studies.

Edward Hartley Angle, known as the “Father of Modern Orthodontics,” taught and practiced orthodontics in the Midwest in the late 19th century and developed over 40 patents for orthodontic appliances. He founded the Angle Orthodontist, an international journal of research and study that is still in publication today.

In the 1970s, dental adhesives became widely used, and changed modern braces. Dental brackets were developed in the mid-1970s which replaced the older method of wrapping wires around teeth. Today, 3-D imaging, X-ray technology, and 3-D printing has completed changed orthodontic treatments. Invisalign® and other clear aligners allow for nearly invisible teeth alignment solutions, helping to solve the cosmetic issues which patients have long associated with orthodontics.

Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation

Orthodontic treatments have come a long way from their humble beginnings. We are proud to offer high-quality, precision orthodontic care in the Sacramento, CA and Auburn, CA areas. If you would like to see what orthodontic treatment options are available for you, contact our practice to schedule a free consultation with our team! Call us at(916) 924-8970.

How to Care for Your Braces

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there are currently four million people wearing braces in the U.S, with approximately one million of them being over the age of 18.  While braces are the go-to option for those looking to get a straighter, more aesthetically appealing smile, they can be quite an adjustment. But, with Dr. David Markham, you can rest assured that your teeth are in good hands. Dr. Markham, along with the rest of the Markham Orthodontics team have compiled a list of useful tips to help you keep your braces in the best shape possible. After all, the better you take care of your braces, the better the your results will be when treatment is complete.

Brush properly and brush often.

Although brushing your teeth is standard practice when it comes to having a successful dental care routine, doing so with braces requires a little more time and effort. Instead of brushing two or three times per day, you’ll need to brush every time after you eat, whether it’s a large meal or just a snack. It’s also advised that you use fluoride toothpaste and a brush with soft bristles. Keep in mind that you’ll need to brush every surface of each tooth, as well as in between the brackets, the roof of the mouth, the gumline, and the tongue. Because braces can cause a toothbrush to fray quickly, be sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as it starts to show signs of wear.                             

Floss, floss, floss.

Attempting to floss with braces can be a challenge. But, it’s an important part of your oral hygiene routine that shouldn’t be overlooked. Flossing can help remove any excess plaque or food particles that can still be stuck in between teeth even after brushing, reducing the likelihood of bacteria forming in your mouth. If regular floss isn’t doing the job, floss threaders can be helpful since they are reusable and allow you to easily reach underneath the wire and along the curve of the gumline. Avoid applying too much pressure on your teeth when flossing as you wouldn’t want to cause any damage to your braces!

Steer clear of certain foods.

Wearing braces doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. But, certain dietary adjustments need to be made to ensure you have a smooth orthodontic treatment process. Avoid smoking, sugar-packed drinks, and eating anything sticky, crunchy, hard, or chewy. Foods with these types of textures can likely bend or break the wire in your braces or lead to tooth decay in hard-to-reach areas.

  • Chewy foods–bagels, licorice, pizza crust, barbecue ribs, chicken wings
  • Crunchy foods–popcorn, chips, ice, pretzels, lollipops, hard taco shells
  • Sticky foods–caramel apples, Starburst, Skittles, chewing gum, gummy candies, fruit rollups, toffee, peanut brittle
  • Hard foods–nuts, celery, hard candies, carrots, apples, corn on the cob, beef jerky

Make an appointment today!

Making sure your teeth stay clean, carving out time to floss, and managing your eating habits are simple, yet effective steps you can take to make sure you’ll have a camera-ready smile as soon as the braces come off. Ready to set your smile straight? Contact us at (916) 924-8970 or visit our Sacramento, CA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham. After all, obtaining a winning smile is a team effort.

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