As a parent, finding out your child needs braces is enough to leave you with anxiety. You might be worried about how you’ll manage the cost of braces for kids, on top of the other financial stresses you’re under.
Even if the cost of braces gives you the jitters, remember that a healthy smile can make a massive difference to your child’s confidence and dental health as an adult. The American Association of Orthodontists reports that adult orthodontic treatment is at an all-time high, with those who didn’t have braces seeking treatment later in life. Save your kids the hassle and cost by helping them perfect their smiles now.
Keep reading to get a full breakdown of the cost of braces for kids. And don’t worry! We’ve got tips for your managing your finances too.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
Generally, you should expect to spend anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 for your child’s braces. But the exact price depends on the type of treatment they need, their age, and the length of time they will wear their braces for.
According to a survey of dental fees by the American Dental Association, the average cost for orthodontic treatment is $5,000 to $6,000. However, this cost varies by state and you can expect to pay upwards of $10,000 at high-end clinics.
Fortunately, there are options for those who are worried about the financial impact of their child’s orthodontic treatment. Most clinics offer repayment schemes that break the cost into manageable monthly repayments. And they’ll offer discounts if you can pay for some or all of the treatment in front.
Whatever your financial situation, talk to your orthodontist about payment options before signing up for treatment. That way you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Which Types of Braces for Kids Are Most Affordable?
Braces have come a long way in recent years and there are now multiple types for children, each with a different price point. The exact types of braces available to you will depend on your orthodontist’s experience. Here are the most common ones you’ll come across.
Metal braces are the most common braces on offer. They’re available at most orthodontic clinics and have stood the test of time. You got it, these are the same braces parents had as kids.
Metal braces are permanently fixed to the teeth making them a low-cost and fast-acting option. They can be adjusted quickly to reduce the amount of time spent in the dentist’s chair and they have an exceptionally high success rate, largely because they can’t be removed by hand. The only downside is that the metal is very visible, which makes some kids feel self-conscious.
Expect to pay: $3,000-$6,000
Ceramic braces solve the visibility challenge, by utilizing brackets that match the color of your child’s teeth. However, they’re more brittle than metal, which can mean more trips to the orthodontists for fix-ups. They’re also more expensive and can stain if you don’t take good care of them.
Expect to pay: $4,000-$8,000
Lingual braces sit behind the teeth so they are ideal for children who are worried about other people seeing them. However, because they sit behind the teeth, they’re much trickier to fit and adjust. You’ll see this reflected in the cost.
Expect to pay: $8,000-$10,000
One of the most popular options on the market for adults and children, Invisalign technology eliminates brackets and wires altogether. Instead, patients receive clear aligners that fit over the teeth and gradually straighten them.
Invisalign’s major benefits are that it’s hardly noticeable and can be removed by the patient for eating and cleaning. This is unlike traditional braces, which make cleaning teeth at home difficult. The downside is that your child will wear their Invisalign solution for longer than a traditional pair of braces.
Click to read more about Invisalign braces for kids.
How Does Insurance Affect the Price of Braces?
If you have family healthcare, you might be wondering about the cost of braces for kids with insurance.
Unfortunately, most plans don’t cover orthodontic treatment. This is because braces are usually classed as a cosmetic procedure.
Of the plans that do cover orthodontics, most will only contribute towards the cost under specific circumstances. For example, there might be stipulations about the type of braces that can be used (usually allowing only the most economical options) or a list of set orthodontists that need to provide the treatment.
Occasionally, dental issues can be severe enough to cause health issues, like chronic jaw pain, grinding, and decay of the teeth and gums. In these cases, a dentist could assess your child and recommend braces as a medically necessary procedure. This means your insurance company could payout, even if your policy doesn’t explicitly cover orthodontics.
Always speak to your insurance company before agreeing to orthodontic treatment for your kids to make sure you know exactly what you’ll need to pay. This includes asking whether consultations and adjustments are included or whether you’ll be compensated for the fitting alone.
Don’t Fear the Cost of Braces for Kids
Although the cost of braces for kids can be daunting, it’s important to remember that you will save your child money in the future by perfecting their smile now. Adult orthodontic treatment costs more and takes longer to see results!
Compare the different types of braces your dentist offers, check your insurance policy, and discuss repayment plans to ease your financial worries.
If this post has helped answer questions like “how much do braces cost” and “will my child’s insurance cover the cost of braces,” make sure you check out the rest of our blog for more lifestyle and finance tips.
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