Most of us are not born with naturally straight teeth. It is up to our genetics and we don’t have control, but what we do have control over is what we can do to improve our oral health.
Wearing braces for a few years is the best way to get that straight healthy smile you have always wanted, but for a lot of people the cost gets in the way.
Traditionally braces can run from anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 and if you have multiple kids that need braces that could really put a dent in your savings account. Your or your child’s oral health is too important though not to get proper orthodontic care.
Crooked teeth are the breeding ground for plaque and leftover food particles because they are more difficult to brush properly. This could lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If money is really an obstacle don’t give up hope.
There are options out there for you that can help make braces more affordable and most orthodontists will work hard to help make it as affordable as possible for you.
Here are 9 tips for making braces more affordable:
Choose a Skilled Orthodontist This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you are worried about cost, you might be tempted to go with the cheapest orthodontist even if they are not the most skilled or experienced. But by cutting corners now you are putting yourself at risk for future complications.
You only want to do braces once in your life and you don’t want to end up with tooth decay and damage caused by improper treatment so get it done right the first time. Otherwise in the end you will end up paying much more than the initial cost of braces when all is said and done. Don’t know where to start: Visit the American Association of Orthodontists website to research orthodontists in your area.
Set Up a Health Savings Account or Flex Spending Plan If you don’t already have one, talk to your employer or your bank about setting up a health savings account or flex spending plan. By using this money to pay for the braces, you won’t be taxed on the amount spent on the treatment which will save you money.
Your orthodontist should be able to help you schedule your treatments in way where you can take the best advantage of these accounts. 0% Interest House Financing Find an orthodontist who offers 0% interest house financing. This way you can set up monthly payments for the duration of treatment to make the cost more manageable for your budget.
Ask about Special Discounts Most orthodontist will offer special discounts on braces so don’t be afraid to ask. Sometimes they will give you a discount for paying for the treatment in full or they may offer a multiple family member discount or have a special one to honor the military, police and firemen and women.
Wear Your Retainers Along with choosing a skilled orthodontist, for the best results from your braces, you need to follow the orthodontist’s instructions fully. So if he or she says to wear a retainer make sure you wear them as many hours as instructed.
Teeth over time will start to naturally shift back to their original position and the best way to prevent that is to wear retainers after the braces come off. There are different types of retainers from permanently fixed ones to ones that can easily be taken in and out.
Sometimes you might only need a top or bottom retainer and other time you might need both. The best way to ensure that you will need braces again down the line is to do exactly as your orthodontist instructs.
Check on Your Dental Insurance Coverage Even if you are pretty sure that your dental insurances doesn’t cover much when it comes to the cost of braces, it is worth double checking. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find. If they cover about half the cost of braces, it will definitely help make braces more affordable.
Go to a Dental School for Treatment Dental school students need to work with real patients to truly learn their craft so schools of dentistry are always looking for volunteer patients. Because you are being treated by someone not fully trained yet, the school will generally offer you a good discount on the cost of braces.
Don’t worry the students are supervised by their professors so you can still feel confident in your treatment. Keep in mind though that your appointments and the overall treatment period will probably be longer if you take this route.
Also, make sure you choose a dentistry school with a good reputation. See if You Are Eligible for Free Braces If your family is really struggling and you are already living paycheck to paycheck, you might not be able to afford any sort of payment plan for braces. If this is your reality, there are some programs that offer children of low-income families free braces or braces at a very minimal cost.
Look into programs like the Smile for a Lifetime Foundation and the Smiles Change Lives program. Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Around All orthodontists offer a free initial consultation so don’t be afraid to shop around to find an orthodontist that not only are you most comfortable with, but one who also offers you the best price or payment plan.
Compare the cost of the same treatments at different offices. The one thing you shouldn’t do is to buy into the newest trend of DIY braces. While it might be tempting to make your own braces to save money, in the end you are putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.
Tooth movement needs to be precise and if you move your teeth too quickly you will cause instability in your mouth and increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and even tooth loss. You can even cause jaw damage by incorrectly trying to align your teeth.
While orthodontic care is definitely an investment, it is an important one. Our oral health is closely connected to our overall health and shouldn’t be ignored. Don’t wait. Learn more about orthodontic care today. Contact Orthodontics Limited for more information.