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Interesting facts about orthodontistry:
The word “orthodontics” is of Greek origin.
“Ortho” means straight or correct. “Dont” (not to be confused with don’t) means tooth. Together, “orthodontics” means straight teeth.
Orthodontists are specialists in moving jaws and teeth.
But did you know orthodontists have about 3700 hours of training after four years of dental school and are an elite group of just 5-6% of all dental professionals?
When you think of “appliances,” you probably think of your kitchen stove or refrigerator.
But an orthodontist calls the tools used to move a patient’s teeth appliances. Braces, headgear, and aligners are appliances.
Braces were invented over 300 years ago.
The first braces as we know them today were created by French dentist Pierre Fauchard in 1728. They included a flat, horseshoe-shaped metal tied to the teeth using a thin thread.
Early braces had a lot of bling.
Gold was the metal of choice for braces circa 1900. Because gold is a malleable metal, it was easy to shape into an orthodontic appliance. But because it is malleable, it stretches easily. Therefore, patients had to see their orthodontist frequently for adjustments.
Braces have a connection to space-age technology.
Some wires used for braces contain a certain amount of nickel titanium, which was created by NASA for utilization in the space program. When used for orthodontic treatment, these wires are activated by a patient’s body heat and maintain their shape once attached to the teeth.
Beautiful image of Whangarei Falls by my brother. A stunning representation of the land that fuels my passion.