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Today, some 4 million Americans are wearing braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, and the number has roughly doubled in the U. But cultural and social concerns about crooked teeth are much older than that., he notes that people with irregular palate arches and crowded teeth were “molested by headaches and otorrhea [discharge from the ear].” The Roman physician Aulus Cornelius Celsus recommended that children’s caregivers use a finger to apply daily pressure to new teeth in an effort to ensure proper position.