Orthodontic braces are devices to help straighten teeth and place them in a correct biting position. While they are most often used on teenagers, increasingly adults are benefitting from these appliances, not just to straighten teeth, but also to improve oral health.

Types of braces

Modern orthodontics can offer many types and varieties of braces:

  • Traditional "train-track" braces are stainless steel and are the most widely used.
  • "Clear" braces serve as a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces by blending in with the natural colour of the teeth.
  • Lingual braces are fixed braces bonded to the back of the teeth making them invisible to other people, while in standard braces the brackets are cemented onto the front side of the teeth.
  • "Invisible" or clear removable aligners (like "Invisalign") may be used to gradually move teeth into their final positions. They are generally not used for complex cases, such as when extractions or surgery are necessary. The main attraction of these braces is that they are hardly noticeable on the teeth. They are more expensive because instead of wires that need tightening the aligners themselves are replaced every couple of weeks.
  • For less difficult cases removable spring aligners are also an option that can cost much less than fixed braces or Invisalign.

In most situations the need for braces is caused by lack of space in the mouth for all the teeth to fit properly. There are three main procedures to make room: one is removing teeth to create more space, the second is expansion, where the arch is made larger, the third option is "stripping": the teeth are made narrower by slicing a small strip of enamel off each side. Your dentist will discuss with you which option is best suited in your mouth if more space is required.


In order to avoid the teeth moving back to their original position, retainers may be worn once the treatment with braces is complete.

Treatment time and cost

Typical treatment time is from six months to six years, depending on the severity of the misalignment, although research has shown that the average duration is 1 year and 4 months.

The typical cost of braces ranges widely. The cost depends on whether both arches are being treated and the length of treatment. Traditional orthodontic treatment of fixed braces on both arches for 18 to 24 months has an average cost of £2,700, although straightening of the lower front teeth can cost as little as £800. Invisble aligner cases start at around £1,500 and cost up to £5,500. Please ask our dentist for an estimate.

fixed brace

Fixed Brace

clearstep brace

Clearstep Brace