When you first get braces, it’s important to learn all the facts—what foods you need to avoid, how to properly brush between brackets, how to wear rubber bands, and more. This kind of knowledge will keep you on the fast track to a straight, sparkling smile! But it doesn’t all have to be so serious. To lighten things up a bit, we’re serving up some cool, weird, and unexpected braces trivia. The next time someone asks you about your brackets, dazzle them with some of these dental did-you-knows…
- Braces are très chic: We look to the French for all things fashion, from chic boutique styles to the latest runway hits. One of their most timeless trends? Braces! The first braces were constructed by French physician and father of modern dentistry Pierre Fauchard in 1728. They have admittedly improved in style, though; Fauchard’s braces were simply a flat strip of metal connected to the teeth by bits of thread. Maybe you could call it shabby chic, but we’re pretty thankful for today’s fashion-forward designs.
- Ancient Alignment: Even before Fauchard’s braces, people wanted symmetrical smiles. Archaeologists have found Egyptian mummies sporting the earliest attempts to close gaps in teeth. These contraptions weren’t made of metal but instead catgut, or animal intestines, that was wrapped or run along the teeth like the wires in today’s braces. This just shows just how important a perfect smile can be, if they were willing to go to such gross measures to achieve it!
- Braces in Space: The wires used in braces are actually pretty cool—they’re made of a nickel titanium alloy which was originally designed by NASA. The very same metal currently straightening your teeth was developed for NASA’s space program, and here’s what makes it so cool: the thin, flexible wires have shape memory properties that are activated by body heat. Science, space, and smiles—the perfect formula!
- Orthodontists and Dentists, Like Peanut Butter and Jelly: Did you know that all orthodontists are dentists? When a future orthodontist gets ready to pursue their dream career, they must first graduate from dental school. After that, they complete an additional two to three years of specialized training and education to become an orthodontist. With all that time spent learning about the ins and outs of teeth, you know that your orthodontist must care a lot about your smile (and that he or she knows what they’re talking about—listen to their advice!)
- Star-Studded Smiles: Sometimes it’s hard to think of our favorite celebrities as real people when we see how glamorous and perfect they appear on the big screen. But even the rich and famous need a helping hand sometimes! If you have braces, you’re in great company. Emma Watson, Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani, and even Prince Harry have benefitted from braces, so wear your braces proud and get ready for your close-up!
At Birmingham Orthodontics, our mission is simple: we create smiles. Not only do we straighten the crooked grin, fix the bite, and adjust the jaw, we also brighten yearbooks, help young people come to like their looks, and give adults the confidence they have wanted for a long, long time. We also believe in our staff. Our culture of continuous learning has allowed us to host monthly training sessions for each team and bring in leading industry consultants to help keep us ahead of the curve. Contact us for a free consultation, or any questions you might have.