The Surprising History of Smiling

August 16th, 2016

How often do you smile?

We’ve already covered the history of braces, but now it’s time to take a look at the history of smiling and its place in society.

Smiling in public or in a portrait during the 17th and 18th centuries was seen as a social pas, although smiling did become more acceptable during the Age of Enlightenment. The Age of Enlightenment was a period in history where European ideas on politics, science and philosophy were radically altered and developed.

Say cheese!

After the camera was invented, images of people smiling were unusual although smiling was much more accepted in everyday life. As a subject had to hold a pose or expression for up to 15 minutes so the camera could capture their image, it was easier for many people to maintain a blank expression rather than a smile that needed many muscles to be used.

As social values changed and cameras developed in the mid 20th century, it became more common and acceptable to show your pearly whites in public and in photographs. While orthodontics had been around for many decades, it wasn’t until the 1970s that braces really took off. Direct bonding allowed patients to comfortably straighten their teeth for a reasonable price.

Smiles in the digital age

The 1980s and 1990s were the decades of change and innovation for the dental industry, as just before the millennium, 3D printing software allowed invisible braces to be brought out onto the mass market. Invisible braces allowed patients to comfortably and discreetly straighten their teeth with custom made plastic aligners.

Since invisible braces were brought onto the market in the 1990s, they have become more and more popular. They have also enjoyed investment and innovation, leading to the inclusion of digital scanners in the invisible brace process.

Invisalign is at the very centre of the invisible brace trend and can offer you a subtle, convenient and comfortable teeth straightening experience.

To take the first step on your Invisalign journey, find your nearest MiSmile provider and book your smile evaluation today!

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