News Insights - November 28, 2019 People tend to think of braces as an innovation of modern dentistry, but archaeologists have found a crude form of them on mummies in ancient Egypt. They were made from animal skin and attached to the teeth in much the same way as a dentist would attach them today. The ancient Romans used gold wire for their braces and also tried to straighten teeth with force using just their hands. They claimed some success with this method, although that cannot be proved now. It seems not much progress was made with braces after this period until the mid-1700s, when a French dentist that specialised in orthodontics talked about several ways to straighten teeth. He also discovered that removing the rear wisdom teeth helps to prevent overcrowding, which can be a cause of crooked teeth. Perhaps the thing that Pierre Fauchard is remembered for is a device he called a Bandeu. This was like a mouthguard of today and was intended to keep the teeth in the place when undertaking rigorous activities. It was the 1900s before the term braces became widely used, although at the time they were more like a metal cage that fitted over the teeth. During the 20th century there were advances made in all areas of orthodontics, but for a very long time the braces were all made of metal and there was no other choice. That has now changed! Metal Braces In the 1970s, innovations such as stainless steel and dental adhesive made the prospect of wearing braces a lot less daunting. The pain they caused was reduced and they became more effective, so were not needed for such prolonged periods. This was the birth of modern-day braces, although they were still very visible for the wearer. As with all types of braces, metal ones have their advantages and disadvantages. They are the most durable because of the strength of the metal, will usually deal with the problem in a shorter time and often are the cheapest option. These days, there are many options available with different types of metal, but the one thing that is the biggest problem is how they look. Wearers have to be prepared that they will show them with every smile, and this can be an issue for some people. Ceramic Braces Ceramic braces can be made in several different colours and the closest match to your tooth colour is generally used. This does make them less obvious than metal braces, but they still need wires to attach them. Braces made of ceramic are not quite as durable as the braces made from metal and sometimes, they will chip or crack. This is just because metal can withstand more pressure than ceramics, but they are still strong and not so intrusive for the wearer. Ceramic braces tend to be less painful than the metal braces and they tend not to irritate the gums as much. Sometimes, the choice is not that of the wearer though. The orthodontist will know which will suit you the best. Invisalign Up until 50 years ago, the use of braces was quite rare because of the costs involved. Progress with materials and treatments made them more affordable and they became increasingly common. Then, towards the end of the last century, a Stanford University graduate realised that if he left his retainer out his teeth started to move out of alignment. If he wore it consistently, they were corrected. This gave Zia Christi the idea that perhaps something similar could be used for straightening teeth. After teaming up with other developers and finding investors, they produced a system that would turn a physical object into a 3D image. They then wrote a software program that could design the different stages of retainers needed to straighten a person’s teeth. It took them over a year to perfect the software and to get the licence from the FDA that allowed them to sell the product. As no-one in the development team had ever worked in dentistry, the orthodontic industry was slow to take the idea up. The creators decided the best way forward was to show the product to consumers, so in the year 2000 launched a multi-million-euro TV advertising campaign that was a huge success. It is said that almost immediately, 75% of orthodontist became trained in the use of Invisalign, and now there are more than 2 million people worldwide enjoying the benefits. Invisalign gives people the confidence to smile without feeling embarrassed. Durability is not an issue, as you will be replacing the aligner with a new one as your teeth start to move to their correct position. As it is not a fixed brace, you can take it out to eat and drink if you want, although that is not necessary as long as what you are consuming is not too hot. As you pay a monthly fee for your aligners there is no large upfront cost, and this can be a huge advantage for many people when you consider other types of braces can easily be priced from 3000 euros. Choosing the Right Braces for You Most people are guided by the advice their dentist provides, and the same applies when it comes to braces. It depends on the type of problem you have as to which will be the best one for the job, and professional guidance is vital. If your teeth have gaps, are crooked or protruding, give Clearbraces a call on 1800 334353 and arrange for us to take a look at your teeth. Our experts are dedicated to providing the best Invisalign treatment available, and as it can be used to treat most problems, it could be the way forward for you. Our dentists are considered to be the most experienced Invisalign dentists in Ireland. We only use the latest technology and materials so you can be certain your aligners will be of the best quality. Just give us a call and you will soon realise how easy and painless the whole process can be.