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Fun Facts about Orthodontics

October is orthodontics awareness month, and it’s the perfect time of year to learn more information about the industry. For example, did you know NASA developed the alloy that is used to make modern braces? In addition, you will be surprised by the fascinating information orthodontic treatment has to reveal.

Dr. Jacquie Smiles in NYC would like to educate and bring attention to the health benefits of orthodontic care to our patients for Orthodontics Awareness Month.

Here are fun facts about orthodontics that will make your next visit exciting! 

  • It’s Greek – The word orthodontics is of Greek origin. The term “ortho” means correct or straight, and “don’t” means tooth. 
  • Only 5% of dentists are orthodontists, but all orthodontists are trained dentists. 
  • Archeologists discovered Egyptian mummies with crude metal bands wrapped around their teeth for treating misaligned teeth and jaws. 
  • In 1728, French dentist Pierre Fauchard wrote a book on dentistry describing a metal horseshoe-shaped object tied to teeth. 
  • In 1900, orthodontics became the first dental specialty which Edward H. Angle founded. He also established the American Association of Orthodontists. 
  • In 1900, gold was the metal of choice for braces. 
  • Over time, teeth move in response to pressure. Aligners and braces apply gentle, constant pressure to teeth to guide them into ideal positions. 
  • A balanced diet support bone remodeling. Osteoblast cells are responsible for rebuilding bone, and osteoclasts break down bone which causes teeth to move. 
  • Approximately 4 million Americans currently wear braces. 
  • Almost 80% of people living in the United States developed a cavity by the age of 17. 
  • Left-handed people prefer to chew on the left side of their mouth, while right-handed people chew on their right side. 
  • As you age, your teeth shift forward, causing the front of your mouth to look more crowded throughout your life. 
  • Wearing retainers is equally as important as braces. 
  • The recommended age to begin orthodontic treatment is seven years old. However, most people don’t have their first visit until their teenage years. 
  • According to the American Association of Orthodontists, braces aren’t just for kids. One in five patients is an adult ranging between the age from the 50s to 70s. 
  • Celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise, Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, Dakota Fanning, Drew Barrymore, Justin Bieber, Prince Harry, and Kathryn Heigle have all worn braces to straighten their teeth. 
  • Braces do not set off metal detectors.
  • Wearing metal braces doesn’t increase the risk of getting struck by lightning. 
  • People can’t lock braces while kissing. 
  • Metal braces don’t interfere with radio signals. 
  • You can play instruments while wearing braces. 
  • The cement used to bond brackets to the surface of teeth contains a fluoride-releasing substance to help teeth remain strong and resist damage. 
  • 25% of orthodontic patients don’t wear their retainers, causing their teeth to move back to their original position. 
  • Palatal expanders widen the roof of your mouth to make room for teeth to shift into proper position gradually. 
  • A retainer is custom-made to make sure your teeth remain in the correct position.
  • Orthodontists need to complete about 3700 hours of training after completing four years of dental school. 

Since orthodontic treatments date back to ancient mummies in Egypt, you can be sure the technology and materials used today are state-of-the-art and effective. Popular orthodontic treatments offered in offices today include Invisalign, teeth whitening, dental cleanings, veneers, fillings, crowns, and implants.  

To learn more about orthodontic care in NYC, please call us at 212-972-3522 or use our contact form to receive additional information. We are conveniently located near 30 East 40th Street, New York, NY 10016.