Five Ways to Make Braces Cost Less Out of Pocket
Over four million people in the United States currently have braces. Braces can be used to help treat many specific oral problems such as an abnormal bite pattern or misaligned teeth. Typically, because abnormal bite patterns become noticeable between the ages of 6 to 12, orthodontists will recommend starting orthodontic treatment around ages 8 to 14. The specific age can depend on how developed the young patient’s mouth is, if they’ve lost all of their baby teeth, and if they are an otherwise good candidate for the treatment.
While starting orthodontic treatment early is recommended because it allows for the problem to be tackled in it’s earliest stages, often parents will be concerned that the braces cost will be more than they can pay. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can help lower the price so that you or your child can take advantage of the treatment they need.
How to Manage the Cost of Braces
If you’re concerned that braces cost more than you can afford, here are some ways that you bring down the price to a more manageable level.
- Check with Your Insurance: First off you should check with your insurance to see how much they will pay for the treatment. While some people think that braces are considered a cosmetic procedure and thus aren’t covered by most insurance companies, this is actually false. Depending on the specific problems that need to be corrected your insurance may cover some part of the treatment. Some medical insurances can also cover part of the braces cost, especially if they are considered medically necessary. Check with your insurance company to see what kind of coverage you can expect beforehand.
- Check Your Health Savings Account: HSAs and FSAs are often offered as benefits by many employers and they can help cover some of the cost. FSAs tend to have more options than HSAs although both can be usually be used to pay for braces. Because both options take tax-free income out of each of your paychecks, you should check how much you have available, as well as if they have any rules or stipulations before heading into the orthodontist’s office.
- Check with Multiple Orthodontic Offices: If you currently don’t have an orthodontist in mind, consider setting up consultations with multiple offices in your area and see what options they can offer. Some offices may allow patients to set up payment plans, for example, and others may office additional options that can help lower the cost of braces. Feel free to get a few estimates and compare them before making a choice. However, keep in mind that the lowest price isn’t always the best option. It’s always a good idea to read reviews from previous patients and see if their prices and still provide quality work.
- Consider Your Options: The cost of braces can vary between offices as well as between different types of braces. For instance, metal braces cost anywhere between $3,000 to $7,000 on average, and lingual braces (braces that go along the backside of your teeth) can cost between $8,000 and $10,000. That said, costs will vary depending on where you live and prices tend to be higher in major cities than more rural communities. Speak with your orthodontist about the different options that are available and if a more cost-effective option would work for your treatment.
- Payment Plans: Some orthodontic offices will offer payment plans to help the cost become more manageable. While not all offices will offer this service, it’s worth asking about before heading in to begin treatment. It’s also important to ask if the office charges interest on payment plans before setting one up. Some do and some don’t so make sure to ask before agreeing to anything.
If you or your child needs braces, consider these options to help make paying for treatment more manageable. Getting affordable braces is possible so don’t hesitate to reach out to your orthodontist to learn more about your options!