Surprising Facts About Braces

Are you feeling less than fabulous about having to get braces for your teeth? Don't let it bother you. Instead, consider yourself a part of a fascinating area of history because metal braces have been discovered on mummified remains in several parts of the world. In fact, here are a few facts about your dental work that may surprise you!

Braces Could Be Even More Expensive

Do you cringe at the thought of how much a straight smile is costing? It might make you feel better to know that, financially, you're getting quite a break. Gold was once the most common metal used for braces - all the way until the early 1960s! Silver and platinum were also used until stainless steel was finally accepted as an alternative.

Gold was popular because it is soft and malleable, so it was easy to shape around teeth. However, its softness had drawbacks as well: adjustments had to be made frequently to make sure that the braces were doing what they were supposed to do. They were also easily damaged, which severely limited the food you could eat.

Today, if your braces have metal (because many do not), they may be made from titanium. Titanium is popular because it is anti-corrosive, more flexible than steel, and can be used by people who have sensitivities to other metals. 

Two People With No Dental Training Invented The Biggest New Thing In Braces

Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth were graduate students together at Standford University in 1997 when they came up with the idea for "Invisalign." These invisible plastic braces were created simply because both inventors had had braces and hated the look of them. They noticed the effects of their retainers - worn after the initial braces were removed - and used that as a starting point for their idea.

Initially, the dental world was skeptical because the two inventors had no dental training at all - except what they had learned by being patients! Today, variations of these invisible braces are used all over the world, even by the rich and famous like Oprah Winfrey and Tom Cruise.

Braces Bring More Than Just Straight Smiles

Your braces are just giving you a better smile - the benefits to your health significantly outweigh both the cost and temporary aesthetic issues.

Teeth that aren't well aligned can cause a number of problems. A misaligned bite can cause tooth breakage and painful jaw problems like TMJ. In addition, teeth that aren't regular can rub against sensitive areas inside your mouth, like the inside of your cheek, causing sores and pain. Food particles are also harder to clean from irregular teeth, leading to plaque buildup and potential gum disease.

Since approximately 1 out of every 5 patients with braces are over age 21, you don't need to feel shy about your braces. After all - you have a winning smile just underneath them! To learn more, visit