If you have braces, you visit the orthodontist on a regular basis. Orthodontics is one of several recognized dental specialties. Even though most people have heard of braces, they may know little else about the field of orthodontics. Expand your knowledge and impress your friends with these factoids:
Did you know that…?
• Orthodontists must complete four years of dental school and an additional two years of graduate training before they can practice.
• The first certified orthodontist in the United States was Dr Charles Tweed, who devoted himself to this area of study for 42 years.
• In 1728, Pierre Fauchard designed the first braces, which consisted of a flat strip of metal connected to teeth by pieces of thread.
• Edward Angle invented orthodontic brackets in 1915.
• As early as 400 BC, Hippocrates wrote about issues with “irregularities of teeth.”
• The ancient Greeks combined base metals and *cat gut* to improve smiles around 1000 B.C.
• Although metal brackets and wires were the original form of modern braces, options like clear brackets, lingual braces, and Invisalign clear aligners are now available as well.
• Many teen patients have turned their braces into fashion statements with colored bands and brackets.
• Celebrities, models, and athletes want straighter teeth too. Tom Cruise, Brett Farve, Chelsea Clinton, and Gwen Stefani are a few famous faces that have worn braces.
• You’re never too old to enjoy a healthy smile. In fact, an estimated 1 million Americans over age 18 have decided on orthodontic care to straighten their teeth.