Ahh, October. Easily one of my favorite months. Time to break out the sweaters as the last leaves change color and line the streets with the brilliant oranges, yellows and reds that make the fall so beautiful here in the Columbus area. Orthodontists find even more to love about October because it is also National Orthodontics Health Month.
The entire history of orthodontics, going back thousands of years, has been a battle between humankind’s inventive intellect and the naturally occurring imperfections of our teeth. Most of us are born with crooked teeth, and our malocclusions can result in some very real, very devastating consequences, both medically and socially.
Whether you want or need braces, had braces in the past, or are looking to get braces for your child, it will amaze you how much braces have advanced in the last hundred years. Today’s braces are light-years more affordable, comfortable, effective, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing than braces of the past. Today’s braces aren’t just the best, our braces are a breeze.
You see, the great thing about history is that it helps us understand the world we live in today and, in doing so, let us reflect on how far we’ve come and how good we have it.
Congratulations, fellow traveler. We’ve arrived safely in the 20th Century. That's no small feat, considering that so far the treatment options for tooth problems have been either: 1) death, or 2) ripped out with pliers at the barber shop. We now have proper dentists, and a good number of them specialize in orthodontics.
So far, we’ve covered the major precursors to modern orthodontics. We’ve traveled through vast spans of time and have come to the most exciting part: The Father of Modern Orthodontics. (Though the French revolution was pretty exciting, depending on which side you were on.) I’d like to be able to say, “On this date, Dadd E. O’Rthontics slapped a proper pair of braces on a child, called it ‘orthodontics,’ and the world was forever changed.” Alas, it’s not that simple.
In Part I, we followed the long and painful fits and starts of dentistry, beginning with the earliest humans and ending with some mummies in Egypt who were found sporting something resembling braces. In part II, we'll work our way up to the 18th Century, by way of Greece, Rome and Virginia. (We're making great time!)
MOVING MEDITERRANEAN MOUTHS
It’s easy to overlook the importance of orthodontics in human history. There were no great wars fought over overbites and, from what I understand, none of the seven wonders were built in homage to healthy smiles (though no one can prove the Colossus of Rhodes didn’t wear braces).
But the truth is that humans have been working on a better bite for most of recorded history, and our great advancements in orthodontic practices and technologies have allowed us to live longer, happier lives.
Even though orthodontics is a specialty that covers a vast array of treatments, much of our work centers around straightening teeth with braces.
Braces straighten teeth by applying a light, constant pressure to move the teeth into place. The membrane that holds a tooth is stretched on one side and compressed on the other. Because these membranes are delicate and need time to readjust, it is necessarily a slow process, which is why the average treatment time for braces is between one and two years.
Hello and welcome to my new blog! This is my first post, so I thought I would tell you a bit about myself and what to expect from my blog.
My name is Cheryl Golden, as you may have already gathered. I’m an orthodontist in Bexley, Ohio, which is just east of Columbus. I love the Columbus area and am proud to call it home. I was born and raised in Columbus and went to Bexley High School, where I graduated as valedictorian.