A look at the history of dental braces.
There are a few early dentists that deserve credit for creating the methods of straightening teeth we now use. Perhaps the most credit for inventing braces goes to the American dentist John N. Farrar. In 1876, he published the first papers describing the movement and correction of teeth with brace appliances. He realized that teeth could be moved and straightened by applying small amounts of force over time, and he published a number of detailed articles about his work in the years that followed.
Doctor Farrar was among a number of dentists that wanted the correction of tooth and jaw problems to be its own field, separate from dentistry. Farrar, and colleagues like Norman W. Kingsley and Edward H. Angle, established the new field of “orthodontics”.
- An orthodontist is a specialist in diagnosing, preventing, and correcting the positions of teeth and problems with the jaw and mouth. Orthodontists must have completed a degree in dentistry, followed by three or four years of additional study and practice.
- Doctor Norman Kingsley wrote the first textbook on the subject of orthodontics in 1880. He also made significant advances in the treatment of cleft palates and other orthodontic techniques.
- The first school of orthodontics was started by Doctor Edward Angle in 1899, in St. Louis, Missouri. He also founded the American Society of Orthodontia in 1901.
- The word “orthodontics” is derived from the Greek words orthos, which means “correct” or “straight”, and odont, which means “tooth”.