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The practice of orthodontics is a very old one, dating back 50,000 years. Certainly, ancient orthodontic treatments were rudimentary and even crude, but the basic method has remained fairly constant through the ages.

In the olden days, before people really understood what causes tooth decay or gum disease, orthodontic treatment was only for cosmetic purposes. For example, the Etruscans (predecessors of the ancient Romans) inserted pure gold bands into the mouths of deceased women during burial rituals to beautify their teeth for the afterlife.

Archeologists have found cords from the intestines of animals wrapped around the teeth of Egyptian mummies, similar in style to modern braces. Likewise, the ancient Romans used gold wire to attach brackets to their teeth. Other popular methods were tooth filing and using finger pressure at regular intervals to shift the teeth.

Modern orthodontic methods appeared in the 18th century, starting with dental impressions made from wax and then from plaster. Soon after, Pierre Fauchard, known as the “Father of Dentistry,” created a horseshoe-shaped strip of metal (called a bandeau) that fit around the teeth to correct their alignment. Fauchard sometimes tied neighboring teeth together to maintain stability and preserve their shape.

The progression of the 20th century brought stainless steel wires and brackets, headgear and retainers. Today, the process of getting braces is much gentler and less time-consuming, due to large improvements in orthodontics.

If you’re considering braces in Price, Utah, come to Schouten Orthodontics. We offer Invisalign®, as well as other forms of clear braces, if traditional metal braces are not for you. You can reach us at 435.637.0820 to schedule an appointment and learn more about your orthodontic options.