When you think of braces, you automatically conjure up an image of a young teenager on his way to school with these bright silver attachments on his teeth. The reason behind this is that braces are most effective when you are relatively young and your mouth hasn’t developed completely.
Such orthodontic procedures however aren’t cheap, as the average cost of braces shows us. In order to be able to afford such treatment for your child, he or she should either be covered by medical insurance that takes care of dental appliances like braces, or you should have enough financial resources to be able to pay the bills according to the plan that you choose. To get a better understanding of the average cost associated with braces for children, keep reading.
What’s the Average Cost of Braces for Kids?
There are many different types of braces that you can choose from but the decision needs to be a well-informed one. It depends on many different factors like the time period that they need to be on, the type of problem that your child is facing, and the cost associated with the orthodontic treatment. The most popular options are mentioned below.
One of the most popular type of braces – and the most common ones amongst teenagers – are metal braces. They have two main parts. The metal bracket is the first of these and it is placed on the outer surface of your teeth. It has small slots through which the second part of the braces – the wire – is inserted. This wire is then held in place using tiny rubber bands. The average cost for treatment that involves metal braces is between $3,000 and $6,000. If the problem isn’t too severe, it may cost you less, but for more complex problems, it is possible that the cost may to go above this estimate.
Teenage years can be tough as you are just hitting high school and peer pressure is at an all time high. Many children try to avoid the noticeable metal braces in favor of ceramic or clear braces. As these are made of ceramic, they blend with the background of the child’s teeth, making the braces tough to notice from a distance. The wire is also of a similar color to the rest of the elements. For a less in-your-face treatment, you will also be expected to pay a little more. Ceramic braces can cost approximately $4,000-$8000, varying from case to case.
Lingual braces are a great way for children to avoid the look of regular braces as the brackets – either metal or ceramic – are placed on the inner surface of their teeth, which comes inside their bite. This means that no one will be able to tell that they have braces, unless they open their mouth wide. The problem here is the cost as you may have to shell between $8,000 and $11,000 for lingual braces. They can also be quite tough to maintain for children as brushing and talking normally becomes difficult in the initial stages.
One of the most popular options in the market at the moment, self-ligating braces are very similar to conventional braces but with one major difference. There is no requirement for the small rubber bands that otherwise help to keep the wire in place. Instead, self-ligating braces come with specialized brackets that have small door-like openings that close on the wire, preventing it from moving around. When compared to the other options, these braces aren’t too expensive either – the average cost is between $3,000 and $8,000.
Invisalign is basically a type of clear aligner that works very well for simple horizontal alignment. This, however, isn’t the best option for children as there is a lot of effort that goes into the upkeep. You have to remove the aligner every time you want to eat or drink anything (except water) and go for regular changes of the mold. Invisalign can cost between $3,000 and $8,000.
What Is the Best Age to Get Braces?
There is no exact age that can be chalked out as the best age to get braces. Children under the age of 7 or 8, however, should not be given braces, as under most circumstances, it is important that all their milk teeth have fallen out. After this age, you can take your child to a dentist or orthodontist who will be able to assess whether your child needs braces to deal with orthodontic issues.
Generally, children between the age of 10 and 14 are considered the best candidates for braces as their head and mouth are still growing at this stage. This means the crooked teeth or issues with the bite can be dealt with more easily when children are around this age. It is possible to get braces even after that, but it will take longer to achieve similar results.
Differences in Average Cost of Braces for Children
While it is possible to get braces at any stage of life – as long as you have your teeth – it is always better to start orthodontic procedures when you are young. As was discussed before, adults take longer to respond to orthodontic treatment options like braces because their mouth has already been developed completely.
For this reason, and many related ones, the average cost of getting braces also differs with age. While it costs about $2,457 if a child is getting braces for one year, the same procedure is likely to cost about $2,546 for adults. The difference grows with every passing year, which means adults pay an average of $10,183 (for four years), while a child’s treatment for the same amount of time will cost closer to $9,800.
The difference is marginal – about 4% – but it is definitely there.
Therefore, it is recommended that you take your children to a dentist or orthodontist when they are about to hit their teenage years, as that is the best time for any adjustments to the teeth and jaw. Not only will the treatment be more effective in a shorter period of time, it will also turn out to be a little cheaper than it would be if an adult were getting braces.