You’ve seen children and adult alike wear them. At times, they can be sources of discomfort, but when they’ve done their job, they can be great confidence boosters. Not only do they make teeth look pretty and straight, they can also significantly increase its functionality. Commonly known as braces, these wonderful dental devices have benefitted millions of people all over the world.


Do you ever wonder what the story is behind the braces that an able Poway dentist installs on patients, though? Although teeth straightening has been practiced since ancient times, orthodontics did not exist as a science until 1880s. Along the way, many different inventors contributed to the braces you now know today. Here are three of the most prominent ones.

Pierre Fauchard (1678 – 1761)

In 1728, French physician Pierre Fauchard published The Surgeon Dentist, a book that was said to be the first complete scientific description of dentistry. The book also contained an entire chapter dedicated to teeth straightening. Because of this revolutionary book, Pierre Fauchard came to be known as the father of modern dentistry.

Etienne Bourdet (1722 – 1789)

Another French dentist, Etienne Bourdet, wrote a book called The Dentist’s Art in 1757. His book also contained a chapter about teeth straightening. Bourdet was the first known dentist to prove that jaws grow, and he was also the first to extract teeth to fix overcrowding. Both books from Fauchard and Bourdet were the first references critical to the new dental science of orthodontics.

Norman William Kingsley (1829 – 1913)

Historians argue that there is another man who also deserves to be called the father of orthodontics. Norman William Kingsley, an American dentist who wrote Treatise on Oral Deformities as a Branch of Mechanical Surgery in 1880, influenced the field of dental science greatly. His book was one of the first ever to delve into orthodontic techniques for teeth straightening.

Every orthodontic technology—from Invisalign braces to nickel-titanium wires—owe much to what the three aforementioned dental practitioners have started. If what they’ve achieved is any indication, orthodontic technology can only get better in the years to come. For the best in orthodontics, a trusted Poway dentist, like a professional you’ll find at A+ Family Dentistry, will be worth the visit.


A history of orthodontics, International Medical College

A Brief History of Braces, ArchWired