Improving your smile through orthodontic treatment is a serious business, but there is a fun side to it too! There are plenty of facts that you can tell your friends to keep things interesting for you.

Here are 10 fun facts about orthodontics!

1. NASA Wiring

The nickel-titanium in some braces was developed by NASA with shape memory properties that are activated by body heat and/or pressure. This means that your braces will keep their shape no matter how often you are moving your mouth.

2. 1728

The first braces were designed in 1728. They consisted of a flat piece of metal connected to the teeth by thread. This was the common style until orthodontics brackets were later invented in 1915. This style has much more in common with the traditional braces you know today.

The first braces were also made from gold- so they were quite expensive! The price is what caused NASA to search for an alternative, that way braces could be accessed easier by everyone.

3. How Do They Stay On?

Many of the cements used to bind your brackets to your teeth are using a fluoride-releasing substance. That way, your teeth stay strong and resist damage from the brackets. So, if you are looking for kid braces, you will not have to worry about their sensitive teeth being damaged.

4. Only a Select Few

100% of orthodontists are dentists. However, about 6% of all dentists are orthodontists. Why is that?

This is because dentists have studied overall oral health to get to their position. While they may offer orthodontic services, that does not make them a certified orthodontist. Orthodontics is a field within dentistry, meaning that professional orthodontists are considered specialists.

This is why every orthodontist has to be a dentist, but few dentists are orthodontists.

5. You Don’t Want to Do it Again!

Nearly 25% of orthodontic patients have to return to their treatments after completing them. This is because they did not wear their retainers and their teeth started to move back to their original positions! Be sure to follow all of the guidelines given to you by your orthodontist, so that you can keep your healthy teeth where they belong.

6. You’re Never Too Old!

Plenty of adults want straight teeth too! But, they believe that they are too old to receive the treatment.

You are never too old to get your best smile! Millions of adults are currently in orthodontic treatment. If the only thing holding you back is age, be sure to contact us so that we can let you know what your options are. You might be surprised!

7. Myth Breaking

There is a myth that braces are magnetic. However, they are not! Braces will not set off metal detectors or pick up radio transmissions- you can be sure that nothing weird is happening in your mouth!

Many people also believe that metal braces increase the odds of being hit by lightning. This is certainly not the case, so do not worry about it!

8. Famous Orthodontic Patients

Check them ALL out! Emma Watson, Tom Cruise, Katy Perry, Prince Harry, Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani, Drew Barrymore, Dakota Fanning, and more. You might be surprised at who you see.

9. Palatal Expanders

Palatal expanders widen the roof of your mouth. This makes more room for your teeth to shift into their proper locations. Do you know what else happens during this process?

The pressure from the expander separates the bones in your jaw, new bones are restored in this space. It does not hurt as bad as you might think, since the process is extremely slow and done over a long period.

10. Why You Need a Retainer

Similar to number 5, you should always wear your retainer when you are given one. Why?

The retainer is custom made to you! This equipment keeps your teeth in the correct positions after the braces are done applying pressure to them. They are vital to post braces care, so you want to be sure you do not skip out.

If you do, you would become part of the 25% that need to go through the orthodontics treatment all over again. We have included a short retainer faq for you to read- if you have braces you are going to need to wear one at some point or another.

Retainer FAQ

Mouth retainers are essential to keeping your teeth in place after the treatment. Here are the most frequent questions we are asked.

Q: Do I need to wear the retainer forever?

A: Wearing your retainer is important because as you age your jaw shape will change. Without the retainer, your teeth could once again shift to where they do not belong. Without consistent wear, you risk your teeth becoming misaligned.

You may need to wear it “forever”- sometimes there are situations where you can wear it less after 4 or 5 years. However, if you recently completed orthodontic treatment, your teeth are easier to shift out of place within your mouth. It is best to never stop wearing the retainer altogether.

Q: Should I force my retainer on?

A: No, that is not a good idea. If your retainer will not go back over your teeth no matter how hard you try, forcing it will surely cause some damage to your teeth. It could also become stuck or cause you pain.

If you went to long without wearing your mouth retainer and it does not fit now, contact your orthodontist as soon as you can. They will let you know what to do.

Q: How can I clean my retainer?

A: Use a denture cleanser or a mix of water and vinegar to brush the retainer. You can also soak the retainer in these substances. Your specialist will let you know the specifics or if yours require special treatments.


We hope that you enjoyed learning some fun facts about orthodontics today! Be sure to visit us if you run into any issues with your treatment, we are here to help!