Braces and Orthodontics

Common Questions About Braces and Orthodontics

Braces and orthodontic treatment are very popular for both adults and children. In England and Wales started orthodontic treatment last year. Here are the answers to some common questions about this type of dental treatment.

 Why have braces?

The purpose of orthodontic treatment is to make the best of your teeth. This includes allowing you to bite correctly, eat more comfortably, and to care for your teeth and gums more easily. And your smile will benefit, too.

Treatment almost always involves using braces to straighten crooked, crowded or protruding teeth, close gaps between teeth, and correct the bite of the teeth so the top and bottom teeth meet when you close your mouth.

How Long does Orthodontic Treatment Last?

Treatment can last from 6 months to more than two years, and visits to the orthodontist are needed every four to six weeks.

How common is orthodontic treatment?

According to the British Orthodontic Society, 202,300 people started orthodontic treatment in England and Wales in 2014-15.

The vast majority were children, with 72,300 children under 13 years old and 128,500 children aged 13 to 17 beginning orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth last year.

But more adults than ever now want treatment, many having missed out when they were children.

Can I have private orthodontic treatment?

Private treatment is widely available and affordable. The British Orthodontic Society says fees vary and can be up to £2500, however at Parkhouse Dental Care we are pleased to say our prices start from £900.

One advantage of private treatment is you have a wider choice of braces, including clear or invisible ones.

What’s the best age to have braces?

The ideal age to have orthodontic treatment is around 12 or 13, while you’re still growing. The opportunity for improvement in an adult is more limited and surgery is more likely to be needed.

What are braces like?

There are many different types of braces. Some are removable, which you take out at night, to eat a meal, or clean. Some are fixed and stay in all the time. NHS braces are made of metal, but plastic and ceramic ones are also available privately. Some of these are clear, so you can hardly see them on your teeth.

Read more about different types of braces.

How successful are braces?

Orthodontics usually works very well, but it’s important to look after your teeth while you’re wearing braces. Braces can trap food and cause more plaque to build up than usual.

You need to take extra care cleaning your teeth and watch what you eat – for example, by avoiding sugary foods and drinks. You also need to see your dentist regularly while having orthodontic treatment.

This article was first published on NHS Choices

Read more about looking after your teeth while wearing braces.