Call Now Book Online Now
map icon McKennell Dental Practice
21 Churton Street,
London, SW1V2LY
Inner Page Banner  - McKennell Dental Practice

Adult braces

Different options are available if you want to straighten your teeth with braces. Before straightening your teeth with adult braces, it is important to know the types available, how they work and what it is like wearing them to make the right choice. These factors, especially cost, will determine which adult braces you will get.

Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

What is the cost of braces in London?

Braces in the UK have a wide range of prices. In private practices, braces cost about £1500 - £5000, while the average cost of metal braces for adults is between £2000 - £3000. Children up to 18 can get free braces on the public healthcare service if the treatment is medically necessary.

What is the private cost of braces in London?

The cost of private braces in London significantly varies, depending on the type of chosen braces and the case's complexity. Some types of braces cost less than others. The overall braces cost will depend on the duration of treatment and any necessary additional procedures.

Many people do not get treatment for their misaligned teeth because of the cost of braces. Below is the cost of dental braces for teens and adults in private dental practices in the UK. The cost below covers the treatment for the upper and lower teeth, which may be higher if the case is complex.

Type of appliance Approximate cost
Invisalign £3500 - £5500
Lingual braces (Incognito) £2000 - £10000
Ceramic £2000 - £6000
Self-ligating, including Damon £1500 - £6000
Traditional metal £1500 - £3000

Metal braces are less expensive than white or clear ceramic braces, so many people use clear or ceramic brackets on their top front teeth, which are more visible, and then use metal braces on the remaining teeth that are less visible.

However, if you do not want an obvious solution, clear aligners, such as Invisalign, may balance between cost, efficiency and appearance.

You may consider the different financing options for dental work if you are concerned about the cost of your braces treatment.

Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

Finding an orthodontist with a good price

The first step is checking if the orthodontists or dentists in your area are qualified, experienced and have suitable opening hours. You can ask your friends and family members for recommendations.

The cost of braces in London varies across regions and from one dentist to another, so consider shopping around to know the costs.

An orthodontist can give the final quote until you've had a teeth examination at your consultation, which may also have a small fee. We offer affordable payment plans. Ensure you check the exact things in your quotation and what incurs separate payments. Consider mouthguards, retainers, extractions and ongoing check-ups after braces treatment.

You also need to factor in the cost of travelling to the dentist for your regular check-up, so finding a dentist near your office or home may be more convenient.

How do braces work?

Braces are available in different types, each functioning slightly differently, but all aim to correct misaligned jaw and teeth. Your orthodontist or dentist can recommend dental braces treatment for four main reasons. They include:

  • You have a malocclusion (overbite or underbite) - this means your lower and upper teeth don't fit right, and it affects your bite
  • Your teeth are crowded, protruding or crooked and need realignment
  • Insufficient space for adult teeth to erupt after losing your baby teeth
  • You have gaps between your teeth that should be closed

If left untreated, they can cause:

  • Speech impediments
  • Difficulty eating
  • Self-consciousness about your teeth' appearance
  • Headaches from muscle and jaw strain
  • Increased chances of damage to the prominent teeth
  • Difficulty cleaning teeth properly, leading to further dental problems
Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

Who can get orthodontic braces?

People of all ages can wear orthodontic braces if they have healthy teeth and gums. Adults, teens, adolescents and children can benefit from braces to correct dental alignment issues.

Treatment with braces may be more effective at some stages of development, so children should start wearing braces between ages 10 – 14. Teeth straightening treatment is more effective when the jaw and teeth are still growing, but treatment may not begin until most adult teeth have erupted.

However, you can still undergo braces treatment at any age. Reports have shown that about 80% of people with braces are adults. The typical adult patients undergoing braces treatment are females between 26 – 55, but previous surveys indicated more men seeking orthodontist treatment.

Some adults undergo braces treatment for health reasons, but in many cases, it is for aesthetic reasons.

Fixed braces are the most common option, but more adults are opting for clear aligners to help straighten their teeth inconspicuously.

Before getting braces, your teeth must be in relatively good condition and maintain good oral hygiene. You may be unsuitable for orthodontic treatment if you have decayed teeth or gum disease or have extensive restorative work like crowns. You may have to consider veneers or other cosmetic dental work to improve your teeth' appearance.

Types of teeth braces

Different braces are available, including metal, lingual, ceramic, and clear aligners. Each has its unique benefits and features. The most suitable for you will depend on specific preferences and needs.

Braces treatment can make teens self-conscious about their appearance, but this worrying about appearance will not stop in adulthood. It may only become more, and it is natural to want an alternative to a train track look that makes orthodontic work obvious.

Many teens and adults get discouraged from wearing braces because of how people may see them. This is particularly the case if you have a professional appearance to maintain at work or have a big event like a graduation or wedding. Adults may also worry about looking immature when wearing braces.

Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

Conventional metal braces aren't the only option for people who want a perfect smile. You can get ceramic material to match your natural tooth colour, and aligners like Invisalign are hard to notice. These options draw less attention to you while straightening your teeth.

Below, the table summarises the main up and downsides of different dental braces.

Pros Cons
Traditional metal
Usually the cheapest Can't eat certain foods
Customisable with coloured bands Most obvious style
Available on the public healthcare service for eligible patients Can be painful or uncomfortable
Ceramic (white or tooth coloured)
As effective as metal braces Can stain easily
Clear or tooth-coloured material More expensive
Self-ligating including Damon Same discomfort as metal braces
Potentially faster treatment Ceramic material can easily stain
Less painful than traditional metal braces More noticeable if it is metal
Available in clear material Unsuitable for some patients
Hidden behind teeth Can have more effect on speech and cause discomfort
Difficult to adjust and clean
Treatment takes longer and is more expensive than the traditional styles
Clear removable aligners or invisible braces
Removable May cost more
Almost invisible Teeth require flossing and brushing after drinking anything besides water or eating
Easy to clean  
Treatment can be faster than fixed braces  
No uncomfortable metal  

Clear aligners or invisible braces

Invisible, removable aligners are different from conventional metal braces. This treatment involves a series of clear plastic aligners which fit over the teeth and gradually move them to the correct position over time.

They are officially known as clear aligners, but many call them removable or invisible braces. Several brands of clear aligners are available in the UK. They include Diamond Whites, Impress aligners, ClearCorrect, NewSmile, SmileDirectClub and Straight My Teeth.

Invisalign is the most common brand, but one of the most expensive clear aligners. Ensure you consult your dentist before deciding on the right orthodontic treatment.


Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

The Invisalign orthodontist or dentist will scan your mouth to create and 3D image of your teeth to plan your treatment. Your custom-made aligners should be available a month after your consultation.

Invisalign also produces aligners specifically for teens. Invisalign Teen has special features for teenagers to get the most out of their treatment.

Invisalign is suitable for several orthodontic cases, but they are not suitable for everyone. If you have a complex orthodontic case, Invisalign aligners may be a good option, but cheaper alternatives like SmileDirectClub may be an option for a mild case.

The average treatment time for Invisalign is 12 – 18 months, but your treatment can be longer or shorter depending on the extent of correction needed.

Invisalign aligners are removable, so you can floss and clean your teeth normally, reducing the chances of gum disease and tooth decay while wearing them. The removable aligners offer convenient and efficient teeth straightening, but it is expensive for some people.

Inman Aligners

Inman aligners are similar to clear aligners. They are removable and made from a clear plastic material, but they also have metal bars and strings that make them visible. These parts also make the aligners more bulky because the clear plastic covers the metal parts and your teeth.

Inman Aligners are suitable for those needing a small front teeth adjustment. You can't correct alignment in your entire mouth with this appliance.

Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

Metal braces

Different types of metal braces are available. While traditional fixed braces are still available and may be the best option if you want cheap braces, other styles are available with different benefits.

  • Traditional metal braces

Compared to the past, metal fixed braces have undergone several advancements from the train tracks that were once available. Traditional metal fixed braces are now smaller, lighter and less noticeable.

Braces fitting takes about 1 – 2 hours, and the process shouldn't hurt, but you may feel sore after the first fitting and each adjustment. Treatment with traditional metal braces takes about 12 – 24 months. During this period, you are at a higher risk of tooth decay, so taking good care of your teeth and cleaning your teeth are important.

What materials are used to make metal braces?

The metal bracket in fixed metal braces is usually made from high-grade stainless steel, sometimes combined with titanium. The dentist or orthodontist will attach the brackets to each tooth and thread a flexible metal wire made from stainless steel and other metals.

The dental professional will secure the wire with small metal ties or rubber bands. Tightening the wire in different places will help move the teeth into the desired position.

Other parts of metal teeth braces may include:

  • Larger rubbers or elastic brands or chains - to connect different teeth from top to bottom and pull them in specific directions
  • Metal or orthodontic bands - placed around some molars to aid teeth straightening
  • A Headgear - worn at night to aid treatment, usually when significant correction is necessary

For some teens and adults, a plus with the traditional fixed metal braces is they can choose their preferred colour of elastic bands for each bracket. Coloured braces can make a style statement while fixing your teeth. Another advantage of the metal fixed braces is their low cost compared to other styles, and they are available in the public healthcare service.

Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

Self-ligating braces

Self-ligating braces are different from traditional metal braces. They can straighten the teeth faster, and the treatment is more comfortable. However, self-ligating braces have the same appearance as conventional braces as they still use the wire and bracket system.

The brackets are designed to allow free movement, and the wires inside the brackets self-adjust instead of moving with elastic bands or metal wires like the traditional metal braces.

Some brands like Damon have the clear option with transparent brackets suitable for patients who feel self-conscious about their appearance.

The self-ligating system used in Damon braces combines with advanced technology heat-activated wires, making the teeth alignment process relatively gentle.

Patients often experience discomfort or pain after each adjustment during traditional braces treatments. Since the self-ligating metal brackets do not use rubber bands, they are more hygienic. The brackets are designed to hold less food than the traditional style.

Self-ligating metal brackets also work faster than traditional braces because they are more efficient. This reason and the fewer check-ups with the orthodontist make self-ligating braces more affordable.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are another option for people who want to straighten their teeth inconspicuously. They are similar to the traditional fixed metal braces for adults, but the fittings are behind the teeth, facing inwards, so they are barely noticeable from the outside.

Lingual braces are also known as hidden or Incognito (a brand name) braces. The brackets are fitted in the inner surface of the teeth and can be custom-made or the standard option. Custom-made lingual brackets are more expensive.

Lingual braces are still visible when you open your mouth wide, but it isn't immediately obvious. The position of the lingual brace brackets makes adjustments and cleaning longer than regular braces. They may also cause severe speech problems because of the position close to the tongue.

Lingual braces cost more than traditional braces, especially if the lingual brace brackets are custom-made. While lingual braces may be appealing initially, consider the pros and cons, particularly compared to clear aligners.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic brace brackets are made from clear or tooth-coloured material, making them less obvious than traditional metal braces. The wire used to connect the brackets may also be tooth-coloured.

Ceramic braces work the same as traditional braces, so they are just as effective. This means they have the same potential for discomfort.

The main drawback of white or clear braces is the elastic brands that can easily stain if they aren't properly cleaned. The material used to make ceramic braces is more expensive than the average metal braces.

Many people consider ceramic braces like Damon braces or Clarity Braces to strike a good balance between speed, cost and appearance. Clear braces brackets aren't noticeable from a distance and less distracting than metal braces when seen close-up.

Some brands of ceramic braces are slightly more expensive, like Radiance Plus, the most luxurious option. The brackets are clear and made from polished sapphire, making them more comfortable due to the polished rounded edges and stain-resistant.

However, clear aligners are still less noticeable than the clearest ceramic braces, so you want to discuss the benefits and downsides of each with your orthodontist.

Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

Alternatives to braces for teeth straightening?

Several alternatives to braces are available for teeth straightening, including retainers, orthodontic headgear, palatal expanders and clear aligners. Realigning the teeth is usually possible without metal braces, which most people consider braces.

Some people may also want to avoid braces completely, can't visit the dental office regularly or cannot afford the treatment. In these cases, other teeth straightening options that do not involve braces are available.

For example, veneers can improve the appearance of crooked teeth and composite bonding can close gaps between teeth.

Home teeth aligner kits are also available and are cheaper than getting braces at an orthodontist, but they have some risks and limitations.

Before and after adult braces

Orthodontic work helps you achieve amazing transformations. You will have better-aligned teeth, so eating and caring for your teeth will be easier. When you have crooked teeth, the spaces between your teeth will be harder to clean, which causes increased plaque accumulation, so getting braces can reduce your risk of cavities later in life.

Orthodontic treatment will help improve the aesthetic of your smile and boost your self-confidence. Orthodontic appliances usually work fast; some people can see changes within nine weeks after the initial fitting. Within a few months, your teeth can start looking better. Your treatment will still need to continue to move your teeth into the right position.

Wearing retainers after braces

After your braces teeth, your teeth won't stay in their new, straighter position, so you need a retainer to keep them in place. How long you will wear the retainer will depend on your circumstance. The dentist will advise you on this.

You can get a fixed retainer if you only straighten your front teeth. A fixed retainer is a metal wire glued to the back of the teeth to keep them in place.

Another option is the removable retainers, available in different styles. You may need to wear the retainer all day at first but can remove them to eat and for special occasions. However, they are easy to lose, and a replacement is expensive. Cleaning your retainer is important to ensure it lasts long.

Living with wearing braces as an adult

Wearing braces as an adult often differs from undergoing braces treatment as a teenager. Adults may have different expectations and concerns, but wearing braces is generally the same regardless of age.

Even when insurance covers the treatment, the high cost of braces for adults has made braces a kind of status symbol, while others may still feel some way wearing braces. However, more adults are seeking brace treatment later in life, including those who never had braces treatment or because of the cost.

It is common for adults to worry about getting different treatment at work, being seen differently or being teased by friends because they are wearing braces. These reasons have made clear braces and removable aligners more popular.

Invisible braces make eating easier, and you can take them out for short periods, like when you have an important meeting, if you are particularly self-conscious.

Some adults wearing braces report difficulties with eating and speaking at first but gradually get used to the new appliance and adjust to them. Most adults get used to wearing braces within one month but no longer than six months.

Cleaning around your fixed braces may take longer, but special tools are available, like interdental brushes, oral irrigators and interdental brushes to make the job easier.

Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

Do adult braces hurt?

Getting dental braces as an adult means you want your body to break down your jawbone holding the teeth in their current position, then re-grow the bone to secure your teeth in their new position.

Feeling some discomfort is normal, especially in the days after your visit to the orthodontist or dentist, where you will have your braces adjusted. You may also experience irritation in your cheek tissues that cause mouth sores.

However, after 1 – 2 years of discomfort, you will achieve the beautiful smile you desire for the rest of your life.

Some people need dental spaces before their braces treatment to create more space around some teeth, especially for fitting bands on the molars. Spaces often cause discomfort and pain in the first 1 – 2 days after fitting.

The following tips may help prevent your braces from hurting

  • Eat soft foods like eggs, mashed potato, pasta, soup and yoghurt if you experience pain when biting
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers to ease any occasional aches and soreness
  • Use dental wax to cover any wires or brackets irritating your mouth
  • If you have mouth sores, do not touch them with your fingers or tongue to prevent them from becoming worse
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to help ease oral pain
  • You can use anaesthetic mouth gels to numb the painful areas, especially at night if you can't sleep

If a wire becomes loose, putting you at risk of an injury, or you experience severe pain, contact your orthodontist or dentist for an urgent appointment.

Eating restrictions

You will avoid some foods for comfort, but some are completely prohibited if you wear a fixed appliance. Invisible aligners offer flexibility regarding eating because you can remove them to eat, but ensure you clean your mouth before putting them in your mouth.

Your orthodontist will advise you on which foods to eat and those to avoid if you wear fixed braces. Foods to avoid include:

  • Crunchy foods like crisps, popcorn and ice
  • Hard foods like boiled sweets and nuts
  • Foods that you bite into, such as corn on the cob, crusty bread, apples and raw carrots
  • Sticky foods like chewing gum and caramel
  • Chewy foods like tough meats, bagels and gummy sweets

You can damage your braces by biting on hard things like the end of a pencil or your fingernails, so be careful with what you put into your mouth.

If your braces become damaged while eating, you may not realise it, which may prolong your treatment. You may have to pay to replace some parts of the braces, so ensure you follow your dentist's instructions.

Stay connected with us Book Online Now 020 7834 8802

How will I know I need orthodontic work?

Even if you don't have a medical need for orthodontic treatment, you can still undergo cosmetic teeth straightening.

If you aren't happy with the appearance of your teeth and think you need adult braces, book an appointment with your dentist. Even if you are eligible for treatment on the public healthcare service, you need to book an appointment with your dentist to refer you to an orthodontist.

You can book an appointment with your chosen dentist or orthodontist with private treatment. If you want a certain brand, like Damon or Invisalign, you have to search for dentists or orthodontists in your area that offer that system.

You can get adult braces at McKennell Dental Practice to correct your orthodontic issue. Contact us at 020 7834 8802 to book a consultation with our dentist for braces.

Frequently asked questions

You may have a medical need for braces or require treatment for cosmetic improvement. Even if you don't necessarily need braces, you can still decide to get them if you aren't happy with how your teeth look. Cosmetic teeth straightening is often faster than when you need a significant realignment.

Metal braces are effective but aren't aesthetically pleasing. Adults who want a discreet teeth-straightening treatment use clear aligners like Invisalign. They cost about the same as metal braces but are hard to notice.

Orthodontic treatment can take as little as six months if you need a minor tooth movement, but complex cases can take 18 – 24 months or longer.

The orthodontist will carefully attach a small bracket to each tooth using cement. After the brackets are in place, the orthodontist will pass a wire through them and fit small elastics to keep the wire in place.

It takes about one hour to fit braces on each jaw. Keeping your mouth open for this long may be uncomfortable, so the orthodontist may complete the process in two appointments. This gives you time to get used to the first arch before fitting the second arch.

It may be uncomfortable to fit braces, and your teeth may feel tight when the wire is in place, but the fitting process shouldn't be painful. If your jaw aches, you can ask your orthodontist to stop to let you move around a bit.

The dentist will remove the elastics and use special dental tools to break off the brackets from your teeth. This shouldn't hurt, but you will feel some pressure.

You will need thorough teeth cleaning and polishing to remove all the cement and ensure your teeth are in good condition.

Ensure you check with your orthodontist to know if no ingredient in the whitening gel will damage your braces. If you fitted metal braces, you may want to wait until you remove the braces. If not, you will have dark patches on your teeth where the brackets were fitted.