For a more general overciew of orthodontics, check the main page
Orthodontics is a specialization built off of dentistry which focuses mainly on dentl discplacement and facial growth in general. Here is a brief history of this medical practice:
Around 400 BC, Hippocrates was one of the first to describe and record dental deformities. Fast forward a few years, Pierre Fauchard published a book titled "Le Chirurgien Dentiste." This book was considered to be the first major description of dentistry. Though Fauchard wasn't the first one to practice dentistry, he was the first to collect dental treatments and describe them in one book.
Something that resembles modern orthodontistry occured in 1750 when John Hunter began to use a metal arch with ligatures to correct imperfections. This was one of the predecessors to modern braces.
For a more in-depth look at the history of orthodontics, check out this site: http://www.med-college.de/en/wiki/artikel.php?id=145.
Or, if you're more of a visual learner, here's a brief history of orthodontics in the form of a video:
Braces are metallic brackets placed on your teeth attached by metal wires. These align your teeth by applying pressure to your teeth overtime, causing your teeth to shift in your mouth. Braces work in a fascinating way: they actually cause your jawbone to break and heal in order to move your teeth around! When a constant force is applied to your teeth, the bone that anchors the teeth in place dissolves, and calls cells to the area to regrow new bone in a configuration that relieves the pressure. By doing this over a sustained period of time, braces can reshape the way your jaw and teeth look and function. For more information, check out the video below:
Retainers are something that people don't consider when they think about orthodontics. However, retainers are a key component of the orthodontic process. Shown below, retainers make sure that your teeth stay in place after you get your braces off. In a lot of cases, teeth begin to move once the pressure of braces is lifted. To prevent this, retainers are used to stop any erratic toth movement.
Generally, a temporary, as well as a permanent retainer can be used. A permanent retainer is a metal bar that is attached to the inside of your teeth to prevent them from moving, whereas a temporary retainer is inserted and removed from the mouth as directed by your orthodontist.
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