A technology like braces has long been dreamt about by humans hoping to achieve a perfect smile. Even Hippocrates and Aristotle wondered how to straighten teeth.
However, it wasn’t until the 1700s that advancements in straightening teeth were taken from ideas to actual devices. The oh-so-stylish French pioneered the first teeth straightening device. It looked like a horseshoe and sounds more like a torture device than anything, but it was believed to increase the arch of the mouth allowing more room for the teeth fill in to.
However, there was nothing to to pull the teeth with. Eventually, there were holes placed in the horseshoe-like device for wires which would be bound to the teeth and and tightened periodically. This tightening concept is very similar to the idea behind today’s braces.
As early as the 1800s, gum rubbers were used as bands to pull the teeth into place, and it wasn’t until the early 1900s that orthodontists implemented a crib construction with loops and hooks to pull the wires through. These hooks and loops were made of precious metals due to their incredible bendable nature.
In the 1960s, the braces of today finally began to take shape. Stainless steel became the industry standard material and in the 1970s, glued brackets on the front of the teeth became the standard. There were even braces that mounted behind the teeth, which served as the invisible braces of the time.
Now, with further advancements in orthodontics, invisible braces have become even more widespread. But instead of using brackets, these braces are clear and look more like a mouth guard. These invisible braces are known as Invisalign, and instead of having the wires tightened periodically, there is a series of thermoplastic aligners used to straighten your teeth.