Orthodontics History: From Metal Braces to toothsi Aligners


The use of braces for teeth correction may feel like a relatively new concept, but the history of orthodontia dates back to ancient times. The history of braces has seen our ancestors experiment with different kinds of materials and techniques to carry out teeth correction. In this article, we are going to look at the evolution of ancient braces into their current modern clear aligner version.

Orthodontics History: From Metal Braces to makeO toothsi Aligners

Throughout the history of braces for teeth, metal braces have been the most popular and widely used form of teeth correction method. Due to the advancements taking place in the orthodontic procedure, clear teeth aligners are becoming more and more popular in recent times. To understand how we reached this advanced stage of teeth correction with the best methods, we have to look at the history of braces timeline that evolved since historic times.

Ancient civilisations that used braces for teeth

The history of orthodontia has seen several ancient civilisations make use of different techniques to correct their teeth position. We are going to look at some of these ancient civilisations to understand the history of dental braces.

Ancient Romans

The application of the first braces ever invented can be traced back to the time of the Ancient Romans. Aulus Cornelius Celsus, one of the greatest and most renowned medical writers of the Roman era was known to attempt teeth straightening through the force of his own hands. Archaeologists also discovered ligature wires in the form of fine gold wires that were attached to the teeth recovered from Roman burial grounds.


The ancient civilisations strongly believed in the concept of the afterlife due to which most of the ancient braces in their earliest form aimed at safeguarding the teeth after the death of the subject. The Etruscans used a device similar to a mouthguard to protect the teeth of the deceased subject from collapsing after death.


The braces history has seen the Egyptians with the most ingenious type of braces for safeguarding the teeth of the deceased subject for the afterlife. The Egyptians used the concept of an archwire in the form of a cord which was made from an animal intestine called catgut. This device was the earliest version of braces that carried out teeth correction in the same manner as modern braces for teeth.

When were modern braces invented?

French dentists such as Pierre Fauchard and Pierre Bourdet made noticeable contributions through their medical books in the 1700s for laying the foundation for the development of modern braces for teeth. However, the first modern braces for teeth were created by Christophe-Francois Delabarre in 1819 where a woven wire or “crib” was fitted over both the upper and lower teeth. This design was later improved by Dr Edward Maynard in 1843 with the introduction of elastics.

When were clear aligners invented?

Believe it or not! Clear aligners were invented by someone with no background in the orthodontic field. Clear aligners were invented at the end of the 20th century by a Stanford University graduate named Zia Christi. Zia took the concept used by Egyptians where they carried out teeth straightening without the use of brackets and an archwire. He then collaborated with another Stanford graduate Kelsey Wirth to create the very first clear aligner tray for correcting your teeth position. The braces' history has come a long way from the use of a cord made from animal intestine to the use of high-grade clear plastic aligners to correct teeth positions. Clear aligners are the thing of the future where you can easily carry out your teeth correction process conveniently. You can check out clear aligners by makeO toothsi to conveniently carry out all types of teeth correction at an affordable price.

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