FAQs

Does it hurt?

When an appliance is first fitted it can feel a little strange and the unaccustomed pressure on the teeth can cause some discomfort or pain for the first few days. This is nothing unusual and will normally wear off quite quickly. Simple painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be helpful. Should there be any irritation to the lips and cheeks your orthodontist can provide soft wax to place over the brace where it is sore to help relieve any problems until they settle.

How long does treatment take?

This always depends on each individual case, but active treatment typically lasts between 12 and 24 months, and visits to the orthodontist are needed every six to eight weeks.

Will I need any teeth taking out to make room?

You may not have enough room for all your permanent teeth. If so, you may need one or more permanent teeth taken out to make room. Every person is different and your orthodontist will tell you whether this is the case. Any teeth that need to be taken out will be removed by your usual dentist.

Do I only get or have to have metal braces?

NHS braces are made of metal. (Ceramic and virtually invisible braces are only available privately.)

Can I have coloured braces?

Yes – you can select the colour of your bands at your appointment.

What is the average starting age for braces?

NHS care is only available to those aged under 18 years when the appliance is put on. The average age is 14 as teeth move more easily while you are still growing. Your General Dentist will know when it is the best time to refer you.