17 Fun Facts About Orthodontics & Braces

plastic orthodontic model with braces

Anyone who had crooked teeth as a child remembers the nightmare-inducing orthodontic braces. I personally kind of liked them because they made me look like Jaws, the metal-mouthed villain from the James Bond movies…but let’s be honest here, orthodontic treatment was HELL.

Now, of course, we can all look back on those dark days and consider our dues paid. Our smiles have never looked better, am I right??

In this article, we’ll take a look at some surprisingly fun facts about orthodontics!

Fun Facts About Orthodontics

1) Braces have been around since 1669 when orthodontist Pierre Fauchard invented the “Bandeau” (the great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather of modern braces) which was a flat piece of iron shaped like a horseshoe that was designed to expand the palate.

2) The average cost of braces is $5,000.

3) The first documented use of braces was around the year 860 AD by the Ancient Egyptians.

4) The orthodontic wires used for braces were actually originally created by NASA. Yup, Space-Age wire. Good ol’ Titanium Alloy.

5) All orthodontists are also certified dentists, but interestingly enough, only 5% of dentists are also orthodontists.

6) 4 million Americans are currently wearing braces. (Source: Trapnell Orthodontics)

7) To be an orthodontist, it is required that you complete four years of dental school, in addition to 3700 hours of specialized orthodontist training. (Source: Belmar Orthodontics)

8) Orthodontic braces used to be made of gold due to their malleable (and wealthy) nature. Sadly, metal braces would replace gold as the norm because the gold proved to be too flexible, causing patients to have to frequently return to the orthodontist for adjustments. (Source: Orthodontic Arts)

9) 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults (Source: American Association of Orthodontics)

10) The average time for wearing braces is one to three years, though it could be longer or shorter depending on the severity of the issue. (Source: Healthline)

11) Dogs can wear braces- but not for aesthetic reasons. Dog braces help to improve a bite pattern that’s off-kilter. (Source: PetMD)

12) Cats can wear braces for the same reasons dogs do- a malformed bite. Cat braces are also beneficial for fixing unusual tooth protrusion. (Source: Pet Health Network)

13) Many famous celebrities wore braces as adults. Famous orthodontic patients include Cristiano Ronaldo, Gwen Stefani, Tom Cruise, Daisy Fuentes, Diana Ross, and even Phyllis Diller! (Source: The Things)

14) Former “First Daughter” Chelsea Clinton had braces in the ’90s.

15) Many Ancient Egyptian mummies that have been excavated were found with metal bands around their teeth, held there by catgut for applying the appropriate pressure to move teeth. (Source: Bowmanville Dental)

16) Though tooth straightening has been around for quite a while, Dr. Edward H. Angle is considered the Father of Orthodontics. In 1899, he founded The Angle School of Orthodontia in St. Louis, and in 1900, he became the first dentist to limit his practice to strictly orthodontic corrections.

17) In total, there are seven different types of braces available today: ceramic braces, mini braces, metal braces, lingual braces, Invisalign, porcelain braces, and self-aligning braces.