The world of orthodontics might seem like an ordinary uneventful field as after all there is nothing quite exciting about a couple of wires and braces, is there? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. The practice has been around for generations and harbors quite a number of interesting facts you probably don’t know about. Today, in a bid to shed more light on the trade, we shall be taking a look at the little-known facts about this ancient practice.
8 Intriguing facts about orthodontics that’ll leave you surprised
1) It’s over 280 years old!
Although the first bracket saw the day of light about a century ago, orthodontics can be traced all the way back to 1728! The first braces might not have been as glamorous as the ones we have today, however, the fact is that they were in existence long before the start of the seven years’ war. The original design was simple and incorporated sheer flat metal embedded onto the surface of the teeth via threads.
2) Braces are not magnetic and other myths debunked.
Modern-day braces are free from two pivotal magnetic elements i.e. neodymium and boron and as such do not exhibit any of Faraday’s laws of magnetic attraction. So you can safely pass through security checkpoints without worrying about triggering metal detectors. Another similarly linked myth is that you are likely to be struck by lightning while on braces; nothing could be further from the truth. They do not in any way increase your chances of being struck. Lastly, braces do not interfere with radio waves.
3) It was inspired by NASA
Orthodontics is actually rocket science! That’s not to mean its complex, oh no; rather it borrows quite a few concepts in rocket science, particularly with regards to its metal composition. While NASA’s use of transparent polycrystalline alumina was intended primarily for heat-seeking missiles, the compounds’ ability to absorb light and high tensile strength made it the perfect material for orthodontics artillery such as braces. So NASA, albeit inadvertently, helped create braces as we know them.
4) Orthodontics has helped famous personalities and celebrities
If you thought orthodontics is uncool and a bit nerdy, then think again! A host of high profile names have turned to orthodontics for dental help chief among them stars like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, England’s Prince Harry and Harry Potter’s charming lead actress Emma Watson among many others.
5) Dentists are not orthodontists!
It is not uncommon to hear people mistake one for the other however there are significant differences. Of course you have to be a dentist first before embarking upon the orthodontics journey, however, the opposite isn’t true as orthodontics is actually just one of the branches of dentistry. Close to 95 % of dentists are not orthodontists! This why you should always choose a qualified orthodontist, for me personally, I got my braces done when I was living in England and went to the best orthodontist in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
6) There are over 4 million orthodontics patients in the US alone, children and adults alike
Millions of people across the United States and the world at large are on various orthodontics treatment plans. And while about 3 million of them are below the age of 18, orthodontics is not meant solely to aid the younger generation. Many people across the age divide have dental problems only that they are more prevalent at a younger age; otherwise, orthodontics targets the society in its entirety.
7) Invisible and chameleon braces are a reality
Well not exactly, however, there are lingual braces that can be fitted in behind the teeth thereby concealing them from the eye’s reach. Also, chameleon braces are not to be taken literally as this refers to the modern flashy designs that come with a selection of hues of varied color options.
8) Retainers are of the essence
While retainers might appear like unneeded accessories to braces, they actually also have an important role to play. To substantiate this statement, one in every four patients who discard their retainers has had to go back to the doctor’s office for a new set.
The Importance of Orthodontics
Now that we’ve known a little more about the field, let’s now take a look at the impact orthodontics has in our lives:
- An orthodontic treatment plan primarily works to initiate proper teeth alignment alongside eliminating mental disorders such as overjet, crowded teeth, overbites etc. In the long run, it helps you achieve the perfect smile.
- It improves overall body health. A defective mouth is essentially a gateway for disease-causing bacteria but with orthodontics correction, decays are alleviated and cleanliness thereby improved as the mouth becomes easier to clean. As a result, chances of infection are greatly reduced.
- As one Mother Teresa once said, peace does begin with a smile. How we think we look plays a part in shaping our confidence and orthodontics serves to improve our facial appearance and therefore enhance our self-confidence.
Well, there you have it folks, orthodontics facts explained, myths debunked and importance reaffirmed. There truly is more than meets the eye to this ancient art and each waking day brings about more technological advancements that make the trade ever so intriguing. The field of orthodontics is set for a major revolution and as such is one worth keeping an eye on.