Learn the Cost of Braces with Insurance for Your Child’s Teeth

When your child’s dentist suggests correcting your child’s teeth with braces, you may be concerned about the cost. Even with insurance, the cost of braces can be higher than your insurance plan may cover. In fact, the average cost of the most affordable type of braces is $3,407.

At Kool Smiles, we make paying for braces affordable with a variety of payment options. Keep reading to learn how much teeth braces cost with insurance and other types of payment.

The Cost of Braces with Insurance

With insurance, your child’s braces treatment can still end up costing you in out-of-pocket costs such as copays, deductibles and coinsurance. Here are the typical costs of different types of braces:

  • Traditional metal braces can cost an average of $3,407 in out-of-pocket expenses. That number could also be anywhere from $1,500 to $8,500 depending on variety of factors like how long your child will need the braces; whether they’ll need both upper and lower sets; and how severe their bite, crowding, spacing or other problems are.

There are fewer complications with traditional braces than other types. All orthodontists should be comfortable working with them. Patients can choose clear bands for a fairly subtle appearance or bands of any color of the rainbow to allow for self-expression. With fixed metal braces there’s nothing for kids to lose (as with plastic aligners) or nothing to cause speech difficulties (as with Damon braces).

  • Ceramic, plastic brackets and self-ligating (band-less) braces can cost an average of $4,572 in out-of-pocket expenses, though the range of reported figures is anywhere between $1,500 and $7,800.

Why do some people choose these? Ceramic braces tend to blend in better with teeth, while plastic braces are “invisible,” so to speak, from a conversational distance. Self-ligating braces, which don’t require the elastic bands, used to be a slightly less noticeable option than traditional braces. But the use of clear elastic bands has made that advantage a bit obsolete. Worth noting, though: it’s been reported that people using self-ligating braces had far fewer orthodontist appointments, which may be a cost advantage.

  • Lingual braces can cost $5,000 to $13,000 or more with insurance. Because they’re tricky to install, it may be difficult to find an orthodontist who will put them in for you, and they’re custom ordered and made, which makes these behind-the-teeth braces pricey. Also worth noting: they can cause tongue and speech issues, especially during the first month (97% of users reported this in a 2002 study).
  • Invisalign aligners can run between $3,000 and $8,000 out of pocket, costing an average of $5,000 with insurance. While not recommended for severe alignment problems, the extra cost of invisible braces may be worth it for a self-conscious child. The frequent tray changes and the risk of expense if lost, though? That may make them less than ideal for children.

The bottom line? Even with a dental insurance plan, many families may still be faced with expenses for their children’s braces. They may also get a different estimate from their children’s dentist or orthodontist depending on a number of factors. So you may be wondering—is it all really necessary?

Close-up lifestyle outdoor portrait of a teenage girl and a bicycle

Does My Child Really Need Braces?

It’s recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) that your child see an orthodontist by age seven. That’s because many problems can be caught early and treated in a shorter time period. Some issues may even be totally prevented with early intervention.

A clear sign your child needs to see an orthodontist? Malocclusions, or “bad bites.” These include:

  • Crossbite—some top teeth biting on the inside or outside of bottom teeth
  • Crowding—teeth grow in strangely due to lack of space
  • Open bite—front teeth not meeting when biting
  • Protrusion—also known as “overjet” or “buck teeth,” teeth jut out horizontally
  • Deep bite—the opposite of overjet, teeth slant inward
  • Underbite—top teeth sit behind bottom teeth
  • Spacing—gaps between teeth

While expensive up front, braces may have lifelong and money saving benefits for early wearers in the long run. It’s also worth considering that “bad bites” can have pretty stiff social consequences for kids and adults alike. Research has shown that people with “normal” bites were rated as “most attractive, intelligent, agreeable and extraverted, whereas persons with an underbite were rated as least attractive, intelligent and extraverted.”

Other Costs Associated with Braces

Braces alone don’t account for the full cost of orthodontic treatment. Here are other potential expenses that come with teeth-straightening.

  • Visits to the orthodontist. Your child will need appointments for a consultation, application of the braces, periodic tightening and potentially more frequent cleanings to prevent plaque buildup in areas that are hard to clean with braces.
  • Having teeth removed as a first step to overcrowding. Extraction costs can add to your tab.
  • Palate expansion is another common orthodontic treatment used before installing braces.
  • Overbite or underbite correction or jaw alignment. Application of correcting bands can be an added cost.

Other potential price pitfalls include:

  • Needing braces for longer than expected. As this chart illustrates, every extra year of braces wear can tack a couple of thousand dollars onto the average cost of braces.
  • Waiting until adulthood. It’s slightly more expensive for adults to get braces then children, and some orthodontic results may only be possible in young, still-developing mouths.
  • Complications. While braces are usually safe, it’s possible to develop enamel loss, cavities and gum disease if your child doesn’t take care of their teeth while wearing braces. Proper oral hygiene at home and regular cleanings at the dentist can help prevent these issues.
Cheerful African American teenage girl smiles confidently at the camera. She is wearing a pink sweater. A window is in the background.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Teeth Braces?

Overall, the best way to get the most accurate estimate for your child’s braces treatment is by consulting with your child’s dentist or orthodontist about:

  • The type of braces your child needs
  • The current state your child’s teeth are in
  • How long your child will have to wear braces

Typically, if your child requires serious dental work, such as corrections for under/overbite or crowding, your child may need a longer braces treatment, which can cost extra.

When you visit Kool Smiles, you won’t have to worry about the high cost of teeth braces with or without insurance. The health of your child’s teeth is important to us, which is why we provide affordable, high-quality dental services for children across the country.

Kool Smiles Makes Braces for Teeth Affordable

You can expect affordable, quality dental care at all our locations. When you go in for your no-cost braces consultation with a Kool Smiles orthodontist, our dental professionals can provide you with all the information you’ll need to make the right decision for your child’s dental needs.

At many Kool Smiles locations, we have in-house orthodontists who can provide affordable braces treatment for your child. We can work with your budget, and we accept most types of insurance, as well as offer payment plans if you don’t have coverage.

For more information about the teeth braces cost with insurance and our orthodontic services, give us a call at 254-781-0553 today.

———

Sources:

CostHelper: health.costhelper.com/braces.html

Damon Braces:

damonbraces.com/choose/research/damon-system-vs-conventional-appliances.php?_ga=2.110502021.1888515897.1535546543-274201959.1535059596

Animated Teeth:

animated-teeth.com/dental-braces/b1-lingual-braces.htm#invisible.braces

American Association of Orthodontists: s3.amazonaws.com/mlmsz/pdfs/PTWF_Grow_Child-17-hl.pdf

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22051487

ValuePenguin: valuepenguin.com/average-cost-braces

Mayo Clinic: www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/braces/about/pac-20384607