As far back as the ancient Egyptians, humans have had the desire for straight teeth. Archeologists have accumulated artifacts from preserved corpses and mummies that demonstrate the efforts of the ancient Egyptians to control and align teeth. The first evidence we have of people trying to straighten or align teeth is from 1,000 B.C. The Greeks and Etruscans attempted to push or pull teeth by wrapping metal bands and wires around them in hopes of improving their appearance. However, we have no way of knowing if these efforts were successful. It does show that dating back to ancient times, humans did understand the basic concept and ability of moving teeth with pressure over time.
Hippocrates and Aristotle even contemplated ways to align teeth, but it wasn’t until around the birth of Jesus Christ that the first recorded efforts to improve tooth alignment were discovered. Anulus Cornelius Celsus, a writer in the Roman Empire, prescribed the removal of milk (baby) teeth to help facilitate the eruption of the permanent teeth. He also prescribed finger pressure on a daily basis to the erupting permanent teeth to help assure their alignment. Gaius Plinius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder, suggested instead of applying pressure to the teeth, that they be filed down to better align them with the surrounding teeth. This method was used for more than 1,200 years.
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