The Early History of Orthodontic Treatment

The Early History of Orthodontic Treatment
Posted on 12/10/2015
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As early as 400 B.C. curious minds that were set on improving their smiles were experimenting with orthodontics. 

Stone pharaoh tutankhamen mask on dark background


Over the years archaeologists have found the mummified remains of many different cultures affirming the early practice of orthodontic treatment.

For example, in Egypt mummies have been discovered with bands and cords wrapped around their teeth (which researchers believe demonstrates and early attempt at closing gaps between teeth). 

These cords the Egyptians used are made from animal intestines called “catgut” and run along the mummies’ teeth in the same pattern that archwire of modern types of braces do.


More examples of ancient attempts at orthodontics can be found all over the globe. In Rome, for instance, remains of teeth bound with gold wire (documented as “ligature wire”—a small elastic wire that affixes brackets to archwire) have been uncovered. 

Additionally, texts from the famous Roman philosopher Aulus Cornelius Celsus describe the first recorded orthodontic treatment of applying finger pressure to teeth to move them slowly. Not exactly today’s Invisalign, but a sign of forward, teeth-straightening thinking nonetheless.


In the 18th Century orthodontics took its first great leap forward, becoming more practiced science than theory. French dentist Pierre Fauchard published his book on teeth-straightening methods “The Surgical Dentist” in 1728, thus crediting him with the invention of modern orthodontics. 

One method he became well known for was the utilization of a device called the “Bandeau.” This tool was a horseshoe-shaped piece of iron that Fauchard used to help expand the oral arch of his orthodontic patients and ergo help straighten their teeth.

Later in that same century another French dentist by the name of Louis Bourdet (official dentist to the king of France) wrote a follow-up to Fauchard’s book called: “The Dentist’s Art.” Bourdet built on Fauchard’s techniques by perfecting the Bandeau. Furthermore, Bourdet became the first dental professional to recommend extracting a patient’s premolar teeth in order to improve jaw growth and prevent teeth from crowding each other.

Then & Now

In the centuries since Fauchard and Bourdet, orthodontists have come a long way. From Invisalign to specialized Orthognathic surgery, the sophisticated, technologically advanced forms of orthodontic treatment offered at Dr. Dann Orthodontics provide patients of all ages with the opportunity to have a straight smile with comfort and ease. 

To learn more about the many types of braces and other orthodontic treatment services available at Dr. Dann Orthodontics, contact us today. Whether you are from Winter Park, Orlando, Altamonte, or Oviedo, FL, we are always happy to help you smile brighter!