It’s an important question that many parents ask when they find their children need orthodontic care: How much do braces actually cost? While you mostly want the process to be productive and painless, it’s also important to consider the varying costs of braces.
While it’s possible to calculate your payment amounts, many factors contribute to the cost of orthodontics. These include the type of braces, your child’s teeth, your child’s dental hygiene, and your plan of financing. Your total cost may be as low as $3,000, or as high as $8,000. With a little bit of research, you can choose a course of treatment that saves you money, and a financing plan that makes the cost easier to bear.
How Much Do Braces Cost and How Can You Save?
Type of Braces
The type of braces your child is fitted with will impact the cost.
- Traditional Metal Braces: You know what these look like. The traditional option of braces typically comes with the lowest total cost.
- Damon Braces: These braces use clear, sliding brackets. Damon braces are more expensive, but can generally shorten the term of the orthodontic treatment.
- Clear Aligners: Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, seem to be the most visually appealing to many. Clear aligners are usually the most expensive option for treatment. If only minor corrections are needed, Invisalign may be a cost-effective option.
Don’t be afraid to ask your orthodontist which type of braces will be most affordable and why.
Preparing Your Child’s Teeth
Sometimes teeth must be extracted, a palatal expander is required or other treatments are necessary before a child can be fitted with braces. These procedures can significantly impact the cost of braces. Once they have braces, some children may only need to wear them for a year, while others may need two or even three years. The arrangement of your child’s teeth and their bite will determine how long they should wear braces. In general, children tend to wear braces between 18 months and two years.
Dental Hygiene Considerations
A child’s dental hygiene will impact how much braces cost. Maintaining good dental hygiene is difficult for many children, and this is harder with braces. Children that exercise good dental hygiene and clean their teeth carefully while they wear braces will benefit from stronger, healthier teeth and they will shorten the time they need braces. Children who are less careful might require extra treatment to prevent gum disease, infection, or tooth decay, and they may need to wear braces longer, incurring more costs.
Cost of Dental Visits
The amount and frequency of visits will depend on your child’s teeth and the type of braces they have. However, the cost of each visit depends on your dentist and your insurance. The cost of each visit will be an especially important consideration if you are paying for braces without dental insurance. To know how much braces will cost for your child, get an estimate of how many visits your child will need and the cost of each visit.
Other Financial Considerations
Insurance and FSA
When it comes to how much braces cost, your insurance plan is one of the most important factors to consider. Insurance can cover up to $3,500 of your child’s orthodontic care. The copays, deductible amount, maximum coverage, and type of care covered in your plan will significantly impact the cost of braces. A flexible savings account (FSA) can be used to cover up to $2,550. Before selecting an orthodontic specialist, make sure you fully understand the specifics of your insurance policy and FSA.
The right payment plan can make the cost of braces much more manageable. Paying more for your child’s braces up front will reduce the overall cost, but paying for braces in one lump sum is not practical for many families. Ask your orthodontist about the available payment plans and you can make the cost of braces a part of your regular budget. Our handy Orthodontic Payment Calculator can provide you with a reasonable estimate of your payments, depending on how long of a term you choose.
How much braces cost varies greatly, but you can estimate the cost and budget for your child’s braces. Most likely, your child will have braces for at least a year and a half with ten to fifteen orthodontic visits in that time, so it’s a wise financial decision to compare prices. To get an estimate for your child’s braces, schedule an orthodontic appointment at BDG today.