I am sure many of you are wondering what braces looked like in the early 1900’s. They were composed of a variety of materials such as, gold, platinum, silver, steel, gum rubber, vulcanite and occasionally wood, ivory, zinc, copper and brass. These materials were used to form loops, hooks, spurs, and ligatures. Gold was the most common material used for wires and bands. Unfortunately, it was quite expensive and only a small number of individuals could afford treatment.
In the 1960’s, stainless steel began being the material of choice for orthodontic appliances. This greatly reduced the cost and made orthodontics more obtainable for a greater number of individuals. Most of the appliances consisted of bands being placed around every tooth and aligned with wires. Bends were placed in the wire in order to move each tooth to its correct position. This was extremely time consuming.
As you can see from the pictures above, bands were placed around every tooth until the mid 1970’s. Although brackets had been around since the late 1960’s, there was no way to attach them to the teeth. That was until the discovery of dental adhesives which allowed for the brackets to be placed directly on the teeth instead of using bands or wires wrapped around each tooth.
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