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FAQs about adult orthodontics

Is there an age limit for orthodontic treatment?

You’ll be pleased to hear that there’s no upper age limit for braces and we’ve treated patients in their 60s and 70s. Your teeth will need to be healthy and suitable for treatment, but age isn’t a factor.

Can adults receive NHS orthodontic treatment?

Most orthodontic practices with an NHS contract will only provide NHS treatment to under 18s. Even then, only patients who need treatment to improve their dental health will be eligible. Adults who need orthodontic treatment for severe health problems may be eligible for NHS treatment through their hospital service.

How discreet are ‘invisible’ braces?

Invisible braces’ is a term used to describe a range of more inconspicuous braces. These include clear fixed braces, clear aligners and lingual braces – which are fitted behind your teeth. While none of these options are actually invisible (as nice as that would be) they are very discreet.

Lingual braces (pictured below) are completely hidden behind your teeth, so they’re virtually undetectable. Clear aligners such as Invisalign blend in with your teeth and are also likely to go unnoticed by the vast majority. Clear fixed braces are more visible, but still unobtrusive compared to their metal counterparts.
Incognito lingual brace

What are the benefits of adult braces?

Most people associate braces with straight teeth, but the benefits don’t end there. Crooked teeth can be more difficult to brush, so by straightening them it makes it easier for you to reach all the surfaces of your teeth and give them a thorough clean.

How long does adult orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment times tend to vary – sometimes dramatically – between patients depending on what needs to be achieved. Mild problems can sometimes take just a few months to treat, while more complex problems can take closer to two years. Usually, on average, comprehensive orthodontic treatment takes between 12 and 18 months. However, many adults are only looking to make cosmetic improvements to their front teeth, which can be achieved within a shorter timeframe – closer to six months.

Your orthodontist will be able to give you a more accurate idea of how long your treatment should take when you come in for a free consultation.

Can I have braces if I have a crown?

Yes, in most cases we can move teeth with crowns. We can also work around bridges and implants. During your initial consultation, your orthodontist will examine your teeth to see exactly what’s possible. If other dental treatments are needed alongside your orthodontic care, we’ll be able to work closely with your dentist to make sure everything is handled seamlessly.

Will braces affect my speech?

Some types of braces such as Invisalign and lingual braces can give you a slight lisp to begin with. The problem normally resolves itself within a week or so. Just keep speaking with your brace in and you’ll soon be back to normal. You’re very unlikely to have any problems with your speech if you opt for fixed braces on the front of your teeth.

Can I whiten my teeth after braces?

Yes, you can whiten your teeth after orthodontic treatment and it’s a finishing touch that many of our adult patients opt for. We can refer you back to your general dentist for whitening treatment, or we can provide you with a professional home whitening kit once your braces have been removed.

If you have any questions that we haven’t answered here, please get in touch. Find your nearest practice, or use our contact form to book your free no-obligation consultation.

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Specialists in Straightening Teeth