Can my child get braces on the NHS?

Children under the age of 18 are entitled to free dental treatment under the NHS, which includes regular check-ups, advice on caring for teeth, fluoride varnish to help prevent decay and repairs such as fillings. 

Some children also qualify for NHS orthodontic treatment such as braces, but your dentist would first need to assess your child’s eligibility. If she has minor irregularities, then she wouldn’t be able to access free treatment – it’s only the severe cases that get seen, and even then there’s usually a very long waiting list (typically a year or longer). 

That’s a big blow to most people, especially if you’ve been patiently waiting for your child’s baby teeth to fall out and for the dental assessment. So what next? 

If you’re worried about your child’s teeth, but your dentist doesn’t think it’s severe enough, then don’t panic – there are plenty of other options. Come and talk to us – our team is always on hand, and we love talking about teeth! Here are some of the things we can offer: 

• Free consultation Come and see us for a free consultation. This includes an examination and X-rays if needed, with no pressure – honest. You can even start treatment the same day if you’re keen. 

• Choice of braces You can choose between modern metal braces (we use ones with special interactive brackets) or Invisalign (a clear, plastic retainer). With braces, we also offer a clear version, which is much less noticeable than the traditional kind. 

• Regular check ups Every two months, we’ll check your appliance and tighten it, or give you a new set of retainers if you’re using Invisalign. These appointments only take about 30 minutes, and they’re flexible enough to fit around your busy lifestyle. Come after school, in the evening or even Saturday morning!  

• Finance package There’s lots of ways to spread the cost if you’re worried about payment. We offer five different payment options to suit most pockets, and you can spread out the payments over five years if you need to. 

If you think your child or teen needs teeth straightening or correction, then getting them seen by a specialist sooner rather than late is definitely preferable. It’s far easier to correct misalignment the younger the child is, although there’s plenty we can still do with adult teeth – it may just take a little longer. 

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