So you just found out you’re getting braces. You might be feeling somewhat disappointed, a bit self-conscious…maybe even a little angry at your parents for getting you into this mess in the first place! However, a straight smile isn’t something that humanity has just discovered to be a very cool thing, as you’ll find out by reading this article! If you’re getting braces and you’re upset about it, this article is here to help you feel a little better about your new orthodontic gear, and gain a bit of perspective along the way.
Humanity’s attempts at straightening teeth started as far back as the ancient Egyptians. Although it may sound glamorous to be an Egyptian queen with braces, it was much less pleasant than it sounds. Egyptian braces weren’t made of gold or silver: they were made from the guts of small animals. Feeling better about rocking those metal braces yet? Wait, there’s more.
For example, I want you to look closely at the man on the left. He is a shining example of state-of-the-art orthodontic technology, circa 1757. What you’re seeing is a device called the “Bandeau,” which, as you can see, was a sort of headgear intended to keep the teeth straight. Although it was extremely cutting-edge for the time, I want to make it perfectly clear that he, not you, has something to complain about when it comes to people’s braces looking weird.
It was very likely impossible for people of centuries past to feel even halfway normal wearing old-timey braces or headgear. To the right, you’ll see another example, this time from the early 1800’s. Doesn’t he look comfortable?
To really drive this point home, I want to provide you with an sample of this guy’s conversational interactions. In this example, the guy with braces is asking Ann, a girl he really likes, if she wants to go to dinner with him sometime:
Guy with 1800’s braces: “Mff ghr mff mff dhhgrr?”
You know what the guy with 1800’s braces dreamed about at night? Modern orthodontics!
Modern orthodontics are amazing: yes, even those good old reliable metal braces. You can talk in your braces. You can play sports in your braces. And unlike the two poor guys we discussed in this article, you can look good in your braces! And if your orthodontist decides that Invisalign is right for you, nobody but you will even know they’re there! The point is this: you may not be looking forward to your braces, but you really should be. A beautiful smile is a lifelong benefit and it is so much easier to get that beautiful smile right here in 2015 than it was at any point in history.