Dental Braces 1850 – 1900

The first orthodontic textbooks appeared in Germany in 1836 and 1840, in France in 1841, in Belgium in 1852 and in the USA in 1880. The American writer Norman W. Kingsley (1829 – 1913) not only published the most comprehensive textbook on orthodontics at that time in addition to more than 100 scientific articles, but was also the first person to produce a systemic etiology (doctrine of causes) and diagnosis and treatment plans that form the very basis of orthodontic treatment. He also developed a removable brace for the treatment of lower jaw overbite that he called ‘jumping the bite’. This brace resembles many removable double braces that are still used today.

The most important founder of scientific orthodontics is the American orthodontist Edward H. Angle (1855 – 1930) who not only improved fixed braces with the Edgewise appliance that is still in use today, but was also the author of an orthodontic textbook that was re-printed seven times. In 1900, Angle established the first college in St Louis to train dentists how to become orthodontists. He was a very influential and successful teacher who influenced orthodontics for many decades to come. He was also a very talented craftsman and continued to tirelessly develop and improve fixed dental braces. Both his teachings and the use of his fixed Edgewise dental brace became widespread in all of the developed countries at that time.