Over the years, NASA and NASA-‘spin-off’ research has led to the development of many commercial products and services that are an integrated part of our daily lives, such as, infrared ear thermometers, scratch-resistant lenses and invisible braces. 

NASA Advanced Ceramics Research was working to develop a translucent material called polycrystalline alumina. It is a ceramic that is stronger than steel, has light-absorbing properties (making it nearly clear) and has smooth, round properties that prevent breakage. The ceramic material was originally used by NASA as protection for the infrared antennae on heat-seeking missile trackers.

In 1986, dental companies were searching for a strong, transparent material that could be used in brackets for orthodontic teeth straightening. After putting forward this material as an option, they worked with NASA to develop the first invisible braces. In 1987, the first invisible bracket braces were introduced to the world! 

Since their introduction to the market, invisible braces have come a long way! The original bracketed style of invisible braces is still here today, but Olson Orthodontics offers other ‘invisible’ approaches to teeth straightening, such as Invisalign and clear aligners. Patients now have choices, offering the ultimate flexibility to suit their lifestyle. Come visit Olson Orthodontics today to learn about your options in treatment on your journey to a new smile.