Under 18s can access free NHS orthodontics if they meet certain criteria. Treatment usually involves fixed metal braces, made up of brackets and wires.
If a dentist thinks your child may benefit from braces, they’ll refer them to a specialist orthodontist who’ll assess if they’re eligible for free NHS care. To make an assessment, they’ll use a scale called the Index of Treatment Need (IOTN).
According to the IOTN, cases with a clinical need for treatment include severe instances of protruding teeth, missing teeth, crowded teeth, and bite concerns, as well as anything that prevents teeth from growing normally. If the child is graded as ‘borderline,’ the cosmetic benefit of braces may be taken into account too.
If your child doesn’t qualify for NHS orthodontics, or would like a more discreet option, private orthodontic treatment is available. Find your nearest Bupa Dental Care practice offering braces privately.