Bringing up children is an expensive affair. There are several costs involved and the pressure can be daunting sometimes. If your child needs braces, the first question that crosses your mind is “how much are braces for kids?”. Regardless of the costs though, if your child needs braces, now is the best time to do it. This is because, as we’ve seen in the previous how much braces cost article, the more you neglect the problem, the worse and more expensive it will get with time. The following is a brief analysis of the cost of braces for kids:
Types and Cost of Braces for Kids
There are a few different types of braces that you can consider, even when it comes to your kids. Technology has moved ahead enough for dental treatment to no longer be inconvenient and painful. The following are some popular types of braces and how their costs compare:
Traditional braces are the metal braces that you may have seen on people most often. These are metal brackets that are individually cemented to each tooth and then connected through a metal wire. The braces are also ligated with the help of small elastic bands. The child will have to visit the dentist’s office every now and then to get the braces tightened. The first few days after having the braces tightened, the child may feel some discomfort.
The cost of traditional braces will differ from case to case, depending on how long the treatment plan is and what the extent of the work required is. On average, traditional braces can cost between $3,000 and $7,000, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry.
Ceramic braces are like traditional braces but instead of metal wires and brackets, your dentist will construct the braces with material that is the same color or of the same tint as your teeth. Even the ligating elastic bands will be the same color as your teeth. The only major drawback is that if these braces are not maintained and you do not floss and brush regularly, the white parts will start staining and looking dirty. But if they are maintained properly, ceramic braces are not as visible as traditional metal braces, which is perfect for the particularly conscious teenagers.
Damon braces, the most popular brand for ceramic braces, can cost anywhere between $3,800 and $8,000. Ceramic braces tend to be more expensive than traditional braces because the material is more expensive than metal.
Lingual braces get their name because they are placed at the back of the teeth, facing the tongue (lingual facing). These are metal brackets that are cemented at the back of the teeth and are connected through a metal wire. The biggest benefit of this kind of braces is that they are practically invisible but do the job of aligning your teeth from the back.
Lingual braces require greater expertise as it is harder to place the braces at the back. The dentist typically places the whole metal bracket at once using a customized tray that holds the braces in place. This is in stark contrast to traditional braces, where the metal brackets are cemented one after the other. This is why lingual braces can be considerably more expensive and may cost anywhere between $8,000 and $10,000.
Aligners are not typical braces. These are devices made of clear, flexible plastic that are used to align the teeth. These plastic devices, known as clear aligners, can be removed and need to be replaced every two weeks or so. Aligners are a far more flexible method of dental treatment. It also requires fewer visits to the dentist after the initial consultation, as long as there is an arrangement to periodically receive fresh aligners every other week. The child is meant to wear the aligner for 22 hours in a day.
Aligners can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry.
Ways to Keep Kids Braces’ Costs Low
As is evident from the section above, getting dental treatment may not be the cheapest form of healthcare. The prices described above are only an average and depending on the amount of work required and the duration of the treatment, the cost may be much higher. The following are some ways in which you can keep the costs of your child’s dental treatment low:
Stick to the Basics
The first thing is to stick to basic dental care options. If you can help it, go for traditional metal braces as they will cost you the least. Even aligners may be a good option though you will have to ensure your child follows the plan and does not remove the aligners as they will not work if they are not provided with enough time. Sometimes it can be hard to keep an eye on your child. If they go to school and remove the aligners behind your back, there is no way for you to know. Traditional braces are the cheapest and you can be certain that your child will not be able to hamper the treatment in any way.
Dental insurance can really relieve the burden of daunting medical expenses. Check with your insurance plan to see if you get dental coverage. Even if your insurance covers 20-30% of the total cost, that would save you a lot of out of pocket expenditure.
Check with the dentist if they offer any discount plans or if they will allow you to pay in installments. Most dental treatment plans will take at least a few months to a year. If you can pay in monthly installments, the burden of the expense may not feel as much.
Giving your child braces at the right time can be one of the biggest favors you can do for them. If the dental problem is left neglected for a long time, the child may grow up and reach a point of discomfort where there is no option but to get braces. Getting braces as a grown up then can become embarrassing for them. So if you can help it, get those teeth fixed when you get the first chance!