After you and your honey are merging your lives, it’s a good idea to make a budget. Have both a short-term and a long-term plan for your money. If you are planning to have children, chances are they will need braces, especially if you or your sweetie wore them. The average cost of braces might change some by the time you are ready to fork out the bucks for them, but you need a general idea today to make your long-term budget plan.
Average Cost Varies
It’s practically impossible to determine an average cost for braces because every child needs different corrections, and the price often varies by region. When you won’t be purchasing them for 10 more years, it can be that much more difficult to determine the average cost. Using 2011 figures, the cost of full orthodontic treatment for a child can range anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, according to "The New York Times."
Dental insurance might help to defray some of the cost, depending on your particular policy. Many work plans don’t cover orthodontic procedures at all; some insurance policies cover half, and some cover half only up to a certain amount. If you have a health savings account -- a tax-free savings account that you can use for medical expenses -- you can use it for braces.
Because of the wide range regarding the average cost of braces, it is worth your while to shop around. Consult with at least three orthodontists to get price estimates and estimates of the type of treatment you will need. One orthodontist might recommend invasive treatment such as pulling teeth to create space, while a different orthodontist might prefer polishing off some tooth enamel.
Most things in life are negotiable, and orthodontic treatment is no different. Sometimes you can negotiate the total fee, or you might be able to work out a no-interest payment plan. You also might get a break of 5 percent to 10 percent off the total price if you pay upfront. By planning early, you are in a good position to do this. If you use the same orthodontist for all your kids, you might get a family discount. Typical treatment lasts around two years, but some third-party orthodontic payment plans allow you to extend your payments for five or more years. This is not ideal because you pay interest in addition to the cost of treatment.
Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.