When did braces become cool?

Sponsored by the Australian Society of Orthodontists


When I was a kid, as my teeth fell out, my new teeth grew in like they were at a dance party, and my mouth was the mosh pit. My parents assumed that I was an orthodontists dream.


When I hit eleven, my teeth were all partied out and fell into rank and file, saving me from being called BRACE FACE. I was the exception, not the rule.


Kids these days now think braces are COOL

But braces have come a long way.

Braces in the 1980’s was a barbaric affair. I would watch my fellow peers struggle with eating, and with bands and pain. Pashing was completely off the table due to the vicious urban myth that if two people wearing braces can get locked together and you would have to go to the hospital in the back of an ambulance and BOY, your parents would be mad.

Please note, I never found one person that this actually happened to.

Teeth that required braces from the 1980’s and prior was a full metal jacket type scenario. But let’s go back even further.

It was Ancient Roman, one Aulus Cornelius Celsus who first thought about teeth and to aligning them might make one’s appearance more attractive by applying finger pressure to the sticky out tooth. Early Romans then took it one step further, with evidence of a rudimentary dental device in the shape of a thin, gold wire, which was trying to force together gaps.

Mind you, this was only after archeologists were called in to confirm that this was actually what they were looking at.

Things plodded along ok for the teeth straightening practices until the 18th Century when Pierre Fauchard, a man considered to the guru of teeth at the time, invented an appliance called bandeau. The first thing to resemble the modern brace, although seeing what it actually did, I cannot imagine that it was comfortable.

Now let’s get back to some facts.


My youngest son requires braces. And not just braces, I mean the Oscar’s of braces. There are teeth where teeth need not be, and there are several that just didn’t choose to develop. We have an x-ray to prove this. He is beyond excited.


I found this out a week before the Australian Society of Orthodontists contacted me to see if I wanted to help them on a campaign about orthodontists so I took it as a sign. The ASO is there to provide factual information about orthodontic treatments. They have the best interests of the patients at the top of their agenda, and work closely with researchers at universities and hospitals to continue to develop treatments.


Orthodontists are specialist dentists, spending another three years studying on top of their dental degree. They specialise in straightening teeth and are experts in facial growth, bad bites and poorly aligned jaws. You do not need a referral to an orthodontist. Click on https://www.aso.org.au/how-find-orthodontist and punch in your postcode to find your areas leading orthodontists who are members of the Australian Society of Orthodontists, the peak body for knowledge across Australia.


There is evidence to suggest that thumb sucking contributes to wonky teeth, and in my sons case, I am sure this was a contributing factor. Child could have won a gold medal if this was a legitimate sport.


For more information and answers to any questions you might have, download the ASO’s free e-book by clicking here.

Braces have come a long way in the past few decades. Now, it is even cool to have them fitted. They are far less obtrusive and even come in cool new colours. Jack cannot wait for his first appointment, which is coming up. Let the teeth alignment commence!

Have you done the braces thing?

Are you about to start it?

Ever heard of anyone actually locking braces while kissing?



  • Corina Morgan

    I work for an orthodontist.. Great blog post!

    • Thanks Corina! They do great work xx

  • Heidi D

    my daughter thought braces sounded great & then she actually got them & was not so thrilled any more. She had some baby teeth that didn’t come out so the adult teeth popped out where they could. She is 6 months into it with about 18 months to go. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c081116a5a0b26d350768a8c114a09fc1893bfb165d912d194fc1502dfef2e6.jpg

    • Heidi D

      no idea why this decided to post sideways

    • It will be worth it in the end!

  • Kate in Melbourne, Australia

    I am coming to the end of a third course of orthodontic treatment. Two were for my son, the third for my daughter.

    The orthodontist drives a very nice car…

    Due to the death of my sister I am now raising my niece and nephew. Their dentist has said in the past that they might need orthodontic treatment. I mentioned this to my orthodontist and, looking utterly horrified, before I’d even finished my sentence, he’d offered to assess them both for free. This would have cost me well over $500.

    Orthodontists can be LOVELY! Good luck with yours Mrs Woog and when Jack’s straight teeth are gleaming in the school photos to come, the hip pocket pain will fade!

    • You are amazing Kate. xxx

      • Kate in Melbourne, Australia

        Thanks Woogsie. Don’t feel amazing, just exhausted!

  • Gmak

    I had braces from age 13 to 15, and I remember I did feel pretty cool. Got me out of PE so many times! Ugh I’d forgotten about the bands – so painful.
    At 41, I now can’t pronounce the words rural, brewery, jewellery or squirrel without sounding sloshed, and my nieces who’ve both had braces struggle to pronounce them too.

  • Emma

    Both my daughters will need braces – one is in the process, the other a couple of years away. My eldest has inherited my dentition with 2 missing adult teeth. She has however one upped me by having no wisdom teeth (cue the jokes!). The kicker is they both have gorgeous straight teeth – with very deep overbites (ie top teeth completely cover bottom teeth when they bite down.

  • I was a brace face after having 4 teeth removed, well 3 and a half pulled and the other cut out because the dentist was CRAP and left one root in. I screamed for hours as he fiddled about unsuccessfully trying to yank it out, ended up in surgery. My sister had 8 teeth removed and braces. We’re trying a preventative route with my daughter, who sucked her finger for about 7 years which meant her jaw wasn’t allowed to develop as it should which means all sorts of problems. I do hope it works or else we’ll be going down braces route also. When you get really clever you can even chew gum and eat sticky lollies with braces! BUT I believe straight teeth an essential and gives people a confidence smile, worth the debt I say x

  • mary_j_j

    Our daughter has been having they’re-not-braces preventative stuff done, she had a plate for 6 months and now she has a wired up jaw – it’s a metal band that runs behind her teeth, to help her mouth grow in a way that will provide enough space for her teeth. Fingers crossed once these delightful pieces of metal come out that will be that. The lad is a couple of years younger and we’re waiting to see what goes on when more of his big teeth come through.
    I, of course, have perfect teeth – I blame all of this on my husband, and his terrible mouth of English teeth. He was a brat of a kid for whom orthodontics were a challenge to be ignored ie he never wore his plate and the list went on. He knows it’s all his fault!

  • Isabelle

    I am puzzled by this obsession we have with the perfect smile. I always thought that braces were to correct gross dental deformity ie over/under bites and the like. How do you put braces on a 9 year old they’re still growing like weeds?

  • Kerri

    All 3 of my daughters have had braces together with other extensive orthodontic work to expand upper jaws and correct overbites including surgery to expose rogue eye teeth and remove wisdom teeth. All to the tune of over $30K of which private health cover hardly covers any of. Of course they all have beautiful smiles now and it has been worth it but it’s a long and expensive process. I don’t know what has changed in the generations but I agree that braces are definitely seen as ‘cool’ these days which is nice that kids are not teased for something they don’t have control over. Hope all goes well with your teeth journey!

  • jesica wilde

    nice post

  • jesica wilde

    execellent post. nice blog. i like this Orthodontists are specialist dentists, spending another three years studying on top of their dental degree. i want to more information.