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History of Orthodontics


A boy with crooked teethGreeley Orthodontics is proud to offer patients the most up-to-date treatments, using cutting edge technology. To know how far we’ve come, refer to our brief history of orthodontics to reflect on how different the field used to be compared to now.

Early History


In 400 BC, Hippocrates was the first to document irregularities of teeth, and there began our long history of orthodontics. While the most effective changes have happened during the past two centuries, our knowledge of tooth development has been steadily advancing since ancient civilizations. The ancient Egyptians would use animal intestines to help better align their teeth, and the Romans advocated for the pushing of teeth with your fingers to move them into the right position.

While these methods may seem a little outlandish to us now, and perhaps ineffectual, the rudimentary tools and knowledge they had then is miniscule compared to what we have now.

19th-21st Century Orthodontics


In 1822, we see the emergence of the headgear, a dreaded but very necessary step in orthodontics’ development. You may have seen headgear in movies, and it is still used to this day, but in a much more convenient and comfortable way.

1846 saw the first use of rubber bands in orthodontics, a method now developed to include the form of elasticated bands in traditional braces.

In 1885, strips of gold, silver and platinum were used to reinforce teeth. They were cemented on to the enamel, and were an important step in protecting damaged teeth. Then, only a couple of years later, a man named Victor Hugo Jackson created removable appliances, made from soldered wires, that hold much in common with our retainers today.

Edward Hartley Angle, in 1906, recommended the use of rigid expansion arches to widen the upper arch of the teeth, in order to create room for adult teeth pushing through. His achievements are numerous and modern orthodontics owes a lot to Angle.

In 1929, the first serial extraction of teeth was introduced, and in the following years, the idea of how much pressure can be placed upon the teeth during orthodontic procedures is developed.

In the 1970s, braces began to emerge in a form we would recognize. The idea of brackets is first used, and glued to the teeth, made from stainless steel due to its adaptable shape. Lingual braces, that are placed on the back of the teeth, are also introduced.

Then, in the 1990s, we saw the introduction of see-through braces, made from ceramic, that began our journey to aligners that are undetectable in the oral cavity. From huge headgear in the 1800s, to invisible braces in the 2000s, orthodontics has certainly come a long way. Just through this brief history, you can see how much this field has learned, and the vast amount of knowledge Dr. Greeley can tap into for professional and in-depth guidance.

Greeley Orthodontics thinks it is important to look back on our history, and how far we have come. We are proud to be a part of the orthodontic history, and hope to continue along the prestigious path that has been built upon time and time again. To book an appointment, call us at 484-346-7846.

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Greeley Orthodontics - Connie Greeley, 400 Old Forge Lane Suite 406, Kennett Square, PA 19348 - 484-346-7846 - greeleyortho.com - 11/10/2021 - Tags: orthodontist Kennett Square PA - orthodontist Kennett Square PA -