Everything You Need To Know About Adult Braces

Everything You Need To Know About Adult Braces

A recent survey showed a 75% increase in the number of adults seeking fixed braces. After all, it's never too late to fix your teeth. Whether it’s choosing between clear or ceramic brackets or simply understanding all the pros and cons, top orthodontist Dr Rowland-Warmann tells us everything we need to know…

Fixed braces are now surprisingly discreet. A lot of people consider traditional ‘train tracks’ to mean heavy, abrasive wires. Yes, they are fixed to your teeth, but you can now choose between a metal finish or a ceramic option. The latter is slightly more expensive, but tooth-coloured, so far more discreet if visibility is an issue. Having said that, the metal nowadays is thinner, so it’s not as noticeable. 

Treatment time can really vary. A big myth surrounding fixed braces is that treatment time always takes two years. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The treatment time varies. It could be from as little as six months to several years, and depends completely on the complexity of the case. Put simply, more straight forward teeth will be done quickly, whereas overlapping and more complex teeth will naturally take longer. There's also what’s known as biologic variation, meaning sometimes teeth move quicker or slower than we would expect them to. Either way, don’t let hearsay put you off. Find out what your individual needs are before writing the idea off entirely.  

Don’t rush the process. There’s so much chat around ‘six-month smiles’ or ‘fast braces’ but at the end of the day, they are just brackets and wires, exactly like fixed braces. In my opinion, no one system is quicker than the other, and it all depends on the severity of the case – in other words, don’t go for the quickest route just for the sake of it. Make it count if you’re going to pay the money. 

Find the right orthodontist. Believe it or not, any UK dentist can complete orthodontic treatment. They don’t need to have special training aside from a one or two-day course post-university. However, a practice limited to orthodontics means those dentists have often spent years training specifically. Your dentist (or orthodontist) should have the right experience, and preferably more than a one-day course to their name. Your practitioner should also be able to give you all the options and not only do one type of brace work. 

Don’t let the idea of pain put you off. A lot of people put fixed braces off for fear of pain, but this needn’t be the case. While there will be some initial discomfort, this feeling soon passes. It’s worth noting that wire changes can leave gums and teeth tender, but it’s nothing that a couple of painkillers won’t fix. 

Paying more will mean better results. It’s true that a comprehensive result is often more expensive. If it’s a difficult case and you only want to spend a certain amount, it’s worth saving up so you can get a better result. Never go for the cheapest option, and look for dentists with plenty of experience – often those just starting out in orthodontics are the ones offering deals. Generally, the more invisible the brace, the higher the cost will be, so a good way of reducing the bill is to go with metal instead of clear ones, and fixed instead of Invisalign. Likewise, simple cosmetic alignment may set you back a lot less than fixing every problem all at once. But again, this varies from case to case and should be carefully evaluated.  

Consider a price plan to break up hefty payments. While a higher price does sometimes mean better results, that shouldn’t put you off. Many practices now offer monthly payments plans to help you manage the cost. As a general rule, expect to pay anything from £2,000 for a single arch, whereas to do the upper and lower jaw is usually around the £3,000 - £4,000 mark. Simple, removable options such as the Inman aligner are usually less than £2,000, but it’s worth noting they’re only suitable for very simple tooth movements.


  1. Elleven Dental
  2. 52 Harley Street Orthodontics
  3. Smilepod Orthodontist
  4. Notting Hill Dental Clinic
  5. The London Lingual Orthodontic Clinic
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