NHS teeth straightening

for under-18s

Orthodontic treatment needs assessment

NHS teeth straightening treatment is available at Clyde Munro to under-18s who require orthodontic treatment for dental health reasons. That means you can get braces on the NHS if your teeth and bite are likely to cause serious problems that will affect your oral health. Treatment for more cosmetic problems is not usually available on the NHS.

During your consultation, your dentist will carry out an orthodontic assessment to decide if you’re eligible for NHS treatment. Your teeth will be assessed using a set of measurements called the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). Typical dental problems that may qualify for NHS treatment include closing gaps caused by missing teeth, excessive protrusion of the teeth, severe crowding and abnormal bites (malocclusion) that cause problems with eating and drinking. Borderline cases are also given an aesthetic score to take into account the appearance of the teeth.

NHS braces

Teeth straightening treatment with the NHS is limited to traditional fixed metal braces, with the option to customise the colour of the elastic bands. NHS dental practices are given a limited amount of funding each year, so if you do qualify for treatment please be aware that you may have to join a waiting list before your treatment can begin. Your dentist will let you know during your consultation how long you are likely to have to wait for treatment.

If you don’t qualify for NHS orthodontic treatment, or don’t want to join the waiting list, you may wish to consider private orthodontic treatment with Clyde Munro. We can talk you through the options, costs and treatment times during your consultation, so you can make an informed choice about your course of treatment.

Who can have NHS braces?

Children under 18 who have dental or occlusal (bite) problems that qualify them under the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) are eligible for braces under the umbrella of the NHS. Your dentist will advise you in your particular case.

What treatment options are available on the NHS?

NHS orthodontics are effective but limited to traditional fixed metal braces. You may be given a choice of colour for the elastic bands.

What other options are available?

Clyde Munro offers a whole range of modern orthodontic treatments, including Invisalign and clear and lingual braces, on a private basis. Please ask your dentist to learn more.

Do braces hurt?

If you are having a brace fitted or adjusted, it is likely to feel uncomfortable for the first few days, but this will settle down and is manageable in the short term with painkillers if necessary. If the brace rubs your lips or cheeks, we will give you some special wax to help prevent this.

Can I eat normally with a brace?

You will be able to follow a healthy diet, however, certain foods can damage braces, or exacerbate hygiene problems. Take care when eating hard, crunchy foods (cut them into smaller pieces first), and avoid sugary, acid-rich items, such as fizzy drinks (even diet ones) and fruit juice. Lastly, sticky, chewy foods, such as chewing gum, toffee, chocolate and sweets, should also be avoided.

How do I brush my teeth with braces?

Brush your teeth as normal, using a fluoride toothpaste. However, because food can easily get trapped by your braces, you’ll need to carry a toothbrush with your during the day and brush after all meals, paying particular attention to the gum line. Failure to keep your teeth and braces clean can lead to permanent discolouration on your teeth.

Will I need to wear a retainer once my treatment has finished?

Yes, if you want your teeth to stay nice and straight. We’ll advise you on your options – retainers can be fixed or removable.

Interested in children’s orthodontics?

Send us a message and your local practice will contact you!