Martin at NCOC

How Braces Work


Joshua, NCOC

Rachael, NCOC

Frequently Asked Questions


North Cardiff Orthodontic Centre

Dentists send their young patients to us when they think they might qualify for teeth straightening on the NHS, and our first job is to give them a clinical assessment.

A clinical assessment with a specialist orthodontist is how we establish your child’s level of need, and those who qualify for free NHS treatment are seen according to the urgency of their case.

To qualify, your child must be under 18 and show obvious need as opposed to merely a desire for treatment. The need is judged by the Index of Treatment Need (IOTN) criteria.

Specialist orthodontists use fixed and removable braces to move teeth for the best long term outcome, and treatment is always different because everyone’s teeth and jaw fit together differently.

The length of treatment will depend on how complicated your child’s problem is, but it’s usually between 18 and 24 months. Because of the high demand there is a long waiting list for orthodontic treatment on the NHS — our waiting list currently stands at around 18 months.