Many people – about four million in the United States- wear braces. You probably know somebody who does or even wear them yourself. For something so common, braces are actually pretty interesting! Here are some fun facts about braces you might not already know.
The metal used in orthodontic wires was invented by NASA
Braces were made of gold until about the mid 20th century. NASA developed nickel titanium as a strong metal for space shuttle hulls. Known in the orthodontic industry as NiTi, this alloy made braces much more affordable. When formed into a wire, nickel titanium is strong but flexible.
All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists
An orthodontist is a dentist who has gone on to specialize in the straightening of teeth. It takes an extra 2-3 years after dental school to become an orthodontist. About five percent of dentists go on to become orthodontists.
Egyptian mummies have been found with makeshift “braces” attached to their teeth
Bands made from animal organs may have been an early attempt at straightening teeth and closing gaps.
One in five orthodontic patients is an adult
Braces aren’t just for kids! Many adults pursue straighter teeth, with either braces or clear aligners. It’s never too late to get the smile of your dreams.
Nearly 25% of orthodontic patients end up in treatment a second time due to not wearing retainers
Retainers are just as important as braces. Teeth move naturally as we age and relapse is certain if retainers are not worn every night for the rest of your life.
Braces aren’t just for your appearance
Straight teeth are easier to keep clean and avoid damage to. Orthodontic treatment can also help with eating, speech, and jaw troubles.
For information about how orthodontic treatment can help you, give us a call at Dr. Peterson’s San Tan Valley orthodontic practice. Our free consultations are a great way to find out what treatment would benefit you most.