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.
It’s been a very exciting month here at Golden Orthodontics, even more than usual. First, I’m very proud to say that I’ve been chosen by my peers as one of the best orthodontists in Columbus. Every year, Columbus Monthly magazine asks dentists and dental specialists (including orthodontists) in Columbus to vote for their peers in the community who they consider to be among the very best.
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.