NHS Braces – Birmingham
If your child has crooked, overcrowded or misaligned teeth but you don’t have sufficient funds to pay for their orthodontic treatment, there’s no need to worry. With NHS braces, children in Birmingham can access high-quality orthodontic care free of charge.
At Orthodontics For You, we fully support the National Health Service’s initiative to help young people improve their quality of life by offering them the orthodontic treatment they need. This is why we are more than happy to lend our expertise to help local children enjoy a perfectly straight smile so they can regain their self-confidence and lead a happy and fulfilling life.
What are NHS Braces and What are the Criteria?
NHS braces are part of an orthodontic treatment that is available to young people under the age of 18. However, a child will need to undergo an NHS assessment and be referred by their dentist before they can have free braces fitted.
At Orthodontics For You, we provide a free NHS assessment to verify whether your child is eligible for NHS-funded orthodontic care. Our highly experienced Birmingham orthodontic specialist will perform the evaluation by gently examining your child’s teeth. The process is relatively quick and absolutely pain-free, so there’s no need to worry.
As with all orthodontists in the UK, we use the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) to determine whether your child qualifies for NHS braces.
A Grade 1 rating means your child has almost perfect teeth so they won’t require braces.
A Grade 2 rating means your child has minor dental issues. However, these minor irregularities do not warrant orthodontic treatment.
A Grade 3 rating means your child is a “borderline” case. While their teeth issues are more severe than a Grade 2, they still don’t require treatment. However, they may qualify for NHS braces depending on our assessment. For Grade 3 cases, we also take account of the appearance of the child’s teeth and give them an aesthetic score ranging from 1 to 10. Your child may be eligible for NHS braces if they receive an aesthetic score of 6 or higher.
A Grade 4 rating is given to a child with extensive teeth irregularities or misalignment issues that require treatment. This grade automatically qualifies a patient for NHS braces.
A Grade 5 rating means your child has severe teeth irregularities or misalignment issues, including several missing teeth and acute upper front teeth protrusion. These issues should be treated as soon as possible to improve their oral health and quality of life. Similar to Grade 4, a Grade 5 rating means a child is eligible for NHS orthodontic care.
What is Included with NHS Braces?
Metal or traditional braces are the standard braces included in NHS-funded orthodontic treatment. Highly efficient and cost-effective, they have an excellent track record of correcting a wide range of oral health issues, including:
- Underbites and overbites
- Protruding teeth
These braces are also durable and long-lasting. For example, metal braces are guaranteed to last throughout a patient’s treatment, which can be anywhere from 12 to 36 months. And because these braces cannot be easily removed once they have been fitted, the chances of misplacing them are negligible.
Other types of braces can be utilised to correct a child’s dental problems. At Orthodontics For You, we offer treatment options that are less conspicuous than metal or traditional braces, such as Invisalign, lingual braces and ceramic braces. Although these treatment options are self-funded, the good news is that there’s no need to undergo an assessment.
Meanwhile, please note that NHS braces should remain in place throughout the treatment to ensure their efficacy. Your child must also return to our clinic every 4 to 10 weeks for adjustments. Subsequently, they will need to wear a retainer for an indefinite period to ensure that their teeth stay in place and not move back to their original position.
Besides supplying the metal braces, the NHS treatment also includes the patient’s appointments, X-rays and scans, fitting and aftercare.
The Importance of Wearing NHS Braces
As experts in teeth straightening in the Birmingham area, we cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to wear braces to correct crooked, overcrowded or misaligned teeth. Teeth problems can have a negative impact on a child’s health and well-being. Moreover, not only can they take a heavy toll on their self-confidence, but they can also cause a wide range of health issues if not treated immediately.
If you or your child have severe oral health problems, there are many reasons why you need to get NHS braces fitted as soon as possible.
1. Increased susceptibility to gum disease and other oral health issues
Patients with teeth misalignment are often more prone to gum disease because it can be more difficult for them to maintain good oral hygiene. Plaque builds up quickly between their teeth, making it easy for harmful bacteria to multiply. This often leads to gum disease and other oral health problems such as bad breath and cavities.
2. Greater risk of weakened or broken teeth
Having teeth misalignment or overcrowding issues puts additional strain on a patient’s jaw, jaw muscles and teeth. Strained jaw muscles are often painful and add pressure to the teeth, which in turn leads to a greater risk of breakage.
Furthermore, if the teeth are in an unusual position, it can cause them to protrude and rub against each other. This could wear out the enamel, resulting in weakened teeth over time.
3. Frequent headaches
Misaligned teeth can often cause painful headaches as a result of the excess pressure on the jaw muscles or because the teeth constantly rub against each other. If not addressed immediately, these frequent headaches can disrupt a child’s learning and reduce their quality of life.
4. TMJ disorders
Often associated with teeth misalignment, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are a result of too much wear on the jaw. These disorders can be extremely painful and could lead to other distressing symptoms, such as pain in the face, neck and shoulders. TMJ problems can also cause a patient’s jaw to pop and lock.
5. Reduced quality of life
As mentioned earlier, dental health issues can also affect a young person’s mental and emotional well-being. An uneven smile can affect their self-esteem, causing them to feel anxious and withdraw from social activities. And because their teeth problems make it more difficult for them to eat, they may be unable to enjoy their meals. This could in turn cause them to miss out on their daily nutritional needs, eventually resulting in poor health and nutrition.
The Best Time to Get NHS Braces
The ideal age for a younger patient to be fitted with NHS braces is about 12 or 13 as their mouth and jaws are still growing. This can help reduce the duration of the treatment while also increasing its effectiveness at the same time.
If your child is over the age of 13, do not fret. They can still be fitted with NHS braces.
NHS Braces for Patients Over the Age of 17
Although NHS braces are geared towards younger patients in Birmingham, they can also be provided to adults on a case-by-case basis. However, this is a rare occurrence. Furthermore, NHS orthodontic treatment for adults should only be sought for health reasons, not aesthetic purposes.
At Orthodontics For You, we cannot guarantee NHS treatment for patients over the age of 17. However, we do offer a host of private or self-funded treatment options for people of all ages, and this includes facial aesthetics. We provide our services at reasonable rates to make it easier for our Birmingham patients to manage the cost of their treatment.
We also offer various payment options, including interest-free payments, as part of our commitment to making high-quality orthodontic care more accessible to all. For instance, rather than paying the fees upfront, you can spread the cost of your orthodontic care and pay in instalments.
If you have any questions about NHS braces for adults or one of our privately funded orthodontic treatments, please feel free to contact one of our team.
Sign Up for NHS Braces Today
Having misaligned teeth and other dental health problems can have a negative impact on a young patient’s overall health and well-being. This is why it is crucial to address these issues as soon as possible so your child can finally achieve excellent oral health and a better quality of life.
However, it is no secret that braces are not exactly cheap. If your lack of funds is preventing you from seeking treatment for your child, do not fret. With NHS braces, children can now obtain the orthodontic care they need absolutely free of charge.
At Orthodontics For You, we work together with the NHS to provide high-quality orthodontic treatment to young patients in the Birmingham area. Our team of experts will be more than happy to offer you the assistance you need so you or your child can finally have that perfectly healthy smile. If you would like to discuss our services, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can send your enquiries via our contact details below or by completing the form on this page.
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