Knowledge is power. When your child wears her braces for the first time, she may feel a little uncertain about this new accessory. What better way to build her confidence than information? Arm her with these fun facts (and adults are welcome to partake as well!)

Get warmed up with your orthodontic history

1) When did people start wearing braces?

Evidence is mixed, but we know the birth of orthodontics was a long time ago. Around 400-300 AD both Hippocrates and Aristotle hypothesized about methods for straightening teeth, and archeologists have found evidence of crude dental-straightening devices in the teeth of Egyptian mummies (the choice material is believed to be catgut).

2) Who is the “father” of modern orthodontics?

His name is Edward Angle, MD, DDS. He trained as a dentist in 1876 but made orthodontics (then an emerging science) his specialty, going on to coin such key terms as malocclusion and setting the foundation for what we know as orthodontics today.

3) True or False: NASA invented orthodontic wires.

True! The wires we use in today’s braces are activated by body heat and were originally developed by NASA to use in the space program!

Now quiz yourself on braces know-how!

1) True of False: All braces are worn at least a year, sometimes even several years!

Answer: FALSE. How long your braces are on your teeth depends entirely on why your orthodontist recommends braces for optimal oral health. Many people do wear braces for over a year, but some remove them earlier. Your treatment is tailored to you.

2) Which of these foods should probably be avoided when wearing braces?

a) chewy candy

b) bubble gum

c) popcorn

Answer: Unfortunately, ALL of these foods should be avoided when you have braces on your teeth! Not only can they get stuck, they can break the wires (even NASA isn’t perfect).

3) What can you put on your braces if they hurt your mouth (or a wire breaks)?

Answer: Wax. Dr. Castilla will give you some of this handy first aid miracle substance when you get your braces on. If there is an uncomfortable spot, you can moosh some wax over the braces to protect your mouth!

4) True or False: Braces lower your risk of gum disease

Answer: TRUE. Because straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, maintaining good oral hygiene is much easier and more effective for patients after braces.

5) When wearing braces, what’s the first thing you should do after eating?

Answer: Brush your teeth! This is really important, not only to keep your mouth clean with all that extra hardware inside it, but to ensure that your smile doesn’t include lettuce leaves or hamburger…

Got more questions that need answering?

Good! This quiz was just a warm up. When you get orthodontic work done with Dr. Castilla and our team, we make sure that all your questions are answered, and you know exactly what’s happening and why. We’ll also give you wax and tips on flossing around all that tricky wire from NASA!

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