When you are ready to start teeth straightening treatment, you may be tempted to choose cheap braces. After all, orthodontic treatment is an investment, and you want to lower your costs. I understand that, but I also want to warn you. When it comes to cheap braces—you get what you pay for. So the lowest price for teeth straightening isn’t always your best bet.
Now, don’t panic. While cheap braces like mail order aligners don’t work well, you can still find affordable braces. And that’s why, today, I’m offering tips to manage the cost of braces. Without sacrificing the effectiveness of treatment.
Today’s orthodontists can offer you a lot of teeth straightening options. But if you’re looking for affordable braces, going the traditional route is best. While not always the case, metal braces usually cost less than ceramic or clear options. And the Invisalign cost is almost always higher than metal braces.
But wait, there’s more. Unlike braces with a less obvious presence, metal braces can correct almost every orthodontic condition. So, not only are they affordable braces, they’re also effective ones.
Now that you know more about affordable braces options, let’s talk payment. Many orthodontists will let you set up a payment plan. Especially if your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of braces. For some patients, this will mean making monthly payments on your braces cost.
Spread out over the course of one to two years, payment plans make it easier to cover the cost of braces. And, in some cases, you may be able to receive a discount for fully paying for your braces at the start of your treatment. But to choose this option, you’ll likely need to set aside funds in advance. Which is why I always tell orthodontic patients to explore Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).
With a FSA, you direct pre-tax dollars from your paycheck into a special account. Then, you can use those funds to pay for expenses—like the cost of braces—that aren’t covered by your insurance. To set up your FSA, you’ll need to be part of your employer’s healthcare program. The plan will likely place limits on your permitted monthly contributions. (As will the IRS.)
But, no matter how much you put into your account, you can direct those funds to cover orthodontic care. That is especially important, since you can’t carry FSA funds over to the next calendar year. So, if you need to cover the cost of braces, and you have a FSA, you’ll want to access those funds before the start of the New Year.
FSAs and payment plans are great options for affordable braces if you don’t have insurance coverage. But it’s always worth checking your insurance coverage to see if it will cover even a portion of the cost of braces. Now, it’s going to be hard to find a plan that pays for your full orthodontic treatment. But some might cover at least 50% of your treatment cost. Which will certainly make teeth straightening more affordable!
Here’s the final step to getting affordable orthodontic care: choosing a skilled orthodontist. And sticking to your treatment plan. When you’re looking to lower your costs, you may find dentists who offer orthodontic treatment plans—especially cheap braces. In fact, many dentists will try to sell you on Invisalign (and appear to lower the Invisalign cost).
Now, I know those offers are tempting. But, without proper training, these dentists can’t offer the same quality of care. So, even if they deliver teeth straightening right now, you may face complications further down the road. Which will translate to more expenses—and discomfort—in the long run.
It’s also crucial to listen to your orthodontist—before, during and after your time in braces. Because, if you don’t wear a retainer after your braces are removed, your teeth will slowly shift back to where they began. And that will undo all your teeth straightening efforts. So you’ll have to redo your treatment, or live with teeth that don’t look as straight as you hoped!
This is where I want you to really pay attention. When you choose to invest in braces, it’s because you want a beautiful, healthy smile. If you turn to cheap braces, you may not see the results you’re seeking. That’s also true if you avoid specialist care, or ignore the advice of your orthodontist.
Remember, if you want affordable braces, you can explore metal braces, insurance, financing and targeted funds. But don’t sacrifice quality to save a few dollars. Your results won’t be great…and you’ll probably spend more money in the long run, to finally get the smile you always wanted!
Have you used your dental insurance or FSA to cover for your orthodontic care? Comment Below!