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Most people know braces are how you can straighten your teeth to get the smile you’ve always wanted. However, there are all sorts of fun facts about braces that you may have never heard of.

Braces are Almost 300 Years Old

Back in 1728, a French Physician named Pierre Fauchard created the first set of braces. However, this set of braces was quite a bit different than what we are familiar with today. The first set of braces was made of flat strips of metal connected by threads.

Braces Used to be Made Out of Gold

Dr. Edward Angle, a dentist, made some important strides in orthodontics by creating braces that more effectively fixed crooked teeth. His version of braces, which is far closer to today’s braces, consisted of brackets made of 14 or 18 karat gold due to the malleable properties of the material.

The Egyptians Wanted Straight Teeth

Even though proper braces were not invented until the eighteenth century, attempts at straightening teeth can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt. Archeologists have discovered mummies with animal intestines wrapped around their teeth in a fashion similar to braces. It is believed that this was an attempt to straighten teeth.

NASA Developed the Material for Modern Braces

To further its explorations into space, NASA developed a heat-resistant metal material called nickel-titanium in 1959. While this material was developed with the intention of being used on rockets and space shuttles, the metal braces also turned out to be ideal for creating thin wires that could be manipulated and shaped easily. When orthodontists learned of the new development, they were quick to apply it to modern braces.

Over Four Million Americans Are Currently Wearing Braces

Many people feel insecure about wearing braces since they are visible and will alter the look of their smile for a period of time. However, you are far from being alone if you start orthodontic treatment. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, about four million people currently have braces.

A Lot of People with Braces Are Adults

If you missed out on having braces when you were a pre-teen or teenager, it’s not too late! Out of the four million people who currently have braces, about one million of those are adults. It’s never too late to start getting on the path to your perfect smile.

Orthodontists Must Complete 10 Years of Schooling to Become Licensed

Past high school, the path to becoming an orthodontist is quite rigorous. First, they will need to complete an undergraduate degree, which typically takes four years. Upon graduation, they can then enroll in dental school, which takes an additional four years to finish. At this point, this person could practice dentistry but if they want to become an orthodontist, they will need to complete special training in the form of a residency. After two years, or sometimes more, of training under the direct supervision of an orthodontist, they will be able to practice orthodontics.

Contact Charleston Orthodontic Specialists today to learn more about braces and to see if orthodontic treatment could be right for you!